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Full text of "The ladies' guide to true politeness and perfect manners : or, Miss Leslie's behaviour book, a guide and manual for ladies ..."

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Jo * 7 A. - 

onversation; manners; dress; introductions: entre to society; 
: shopping; conduct in the street; at places of amusement; kn 


at hotels ; deportment in gent!, em en 's society; lips; 
complexion; teeth; hands; the hair; etc., etc. 


etter writing; receiving presents : incorrect Words; borrowing. ; 



lUthor/' o? "iibj '.l'sue'' Celebrated, ne\V cookery book, 


9 !) 1 1 a b c t p If i a : 


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by 
the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for th< 
Eastern District of Pennsylyania. 

BOSTON p f .r / 


It is said that soon after the publication of 
Nicholas Nickleby, not fewer than six York- 
shire schoolmasters (or rather six principals 
of Yorkshire institutes) took journeys to Lon- 
don, with the express purpose of prosecuting 
Dickens for libels — " each one and severally" 
considering himself shown up to the world as 
Mr. Squeers of Dotheboys Hall. 

Now, if Dickens had drawn as graphic a 
picture of Dothe^irZs Hall, we firmly believe 
that none of the lady principals of similar in- 
stitutes would have committed themselves by 
evincing so little tact, and adopting sucli im- 
politic proceedings. They would wisely have 
held back from all appropriation of the ob- 
noxious character, and passed it over unno- 
ticed; as if it could not possibly have the 
slightest reference to them. 


Therefore we wish that those of our fair 

readers whom certain hints in the following 

pages may awaken to the consciousness of a 
few habitual misbehavements, (of which they 
were not previously aware,) should pause, and 
reflect, before they allow themselves to " take 
umbrage too much." . Let them keep in mind 
that the purpose of the writer is to amend, and 
not to oifend ; to improve her young country- 
women, and not to annoy them. It is with 
this view only that she has been induced to 
"set down in a note-book" such lapses from 
les hienseances as she has remarked during a 
long course of observation, and on a very 
diversified field. 

She trusts that her readers will peruse this 
book in as friendly a spirit as it was written. 

Eliza Leslie. 

















■1 TS. 
















An amusing writer of the last century, justly 
complains of the want of definite words to express, 
distinctly and unmistakably, the different degrees of 
visits, with reference to their length. Whether the 
stay of the guest comprises ten minutes, an hour, an 
evening, a day, a week, or a month, still it goes under 
the vague and general term of a visit. 

We propose, humourously, that if the stay of the 
guest exceeds a week, it should be called "a visita- 
tion." If it includes a dining, or a tea-drinking, or 
evening-spending, it may be termed "a visit;" while 
a mere call can be mentioned as "a vis." 

The idea is a very convenient one, and we should 
like to see it carried out by general adoption. Mean- 
while, we must, for the present, be contented with the 
old uncertain practice of saying only "visit" and 
a visiter." We think it our duty to explain that this 
chapter is designed for the benefit of such inexperienced 


10 MJ OK. 

females as maybe about to i ngage in what we should 

like to call "A visitation." 

To begin at tin.' beginning: — 

Do not volunteer a visit to a friend in tlie country, 
or in another town, unless you Lave had what is called 
"a standing invitation," with every reason to believe 
that it was sincerely and cordially given. Many invi- 
tations are mere " words of course," without meaning or 
motive, designed only to make a show of politeness, and 
not intended to be taken literally, or ever acted upon. 
Even when convinced that your friend is really your 
friend, that she truly loves you, has invited you in all 
sincerity, and will be happy in your society, still, it is 
best to apprize her, duly, of the exact day and hour 
when she may expect you; always with the proviso 
that it is convenient to herself to receive you at that 
time, and desiring her to let you kimw, candidly, if it 
is not. However close your intimacy, an unexpected 
arrival may possibly produce inconvenience to your 
hostess ; particularly if her family is numerous, or her 
bedchambers few. The case is somewhat different, 
where the house is large, and where there is no scarcity 
of apartments : lor guests, of servants to wait on them, 
or of money to furnish the means of entertaining them 
liberally. But even then, the time of arrival should 
be previously intimated, and observed as punctually as 
possible. Such are now the facilities of travelling, and 
the rapidity of transmitting intelligence, that there is 
no excuse for unexpected or ill-timed visits ; and when 
unexpected, they are too frequently ill-timed. When 
attempted as "agreeable surprises," they are seldo7U 


"erj agreeable to the surprised. Also the improve 
.jent in manners has rendered these incursions okl- 
tashioned and ungenteel. Above all,' never volunteer 
visits to families whose circumstances are so narrow 
£hat they can ill afford the expense of a guest. 

Having received an invitation, reply to it imme- 
diately; and do not keep your friends waiting, day 
after day, in uncertainty whether you mean to accept 
or decline it ; causing them, perhaps, to delay asking 
other visiters till they have ascertained if you are to 
he expected or not. 

Excuse yourself from accepting invitations from 
persons whom you do not like, and whose dispositions, 
habits, feelings, and opinions are in most things the 
reverse of your own. There can be no pleasure in 
daily and familiar intercourse where there is no con- 
geniality. Such visits never end well ; and they some- 
times produce irreconcilable quarrels, or at least a 
lasting and ill-concealed coolness. Though for years 
you may have always met on decent terms, you may 
become positive enemies from living a short time under 
the same roof; and there is something dishonourable 
in laying yourself under obligations and receiving 
civilities from persons whom you secretly dislike, and 
in whose society you can have little or no enjoyment. 

When you arrive, take occasion to mention how 
lone you intend to stay; that your hostess may plan 
her ar] accordingly. It is rude and incon- 

siderate to keep her in ignorance of the probable 
duration of your visit. And when the allotted time 
has expired, do not be persuaded to extend it farther. 

12 MI R BOOK. 

38 you are earneslfly, and with undoubted sincerity 
invited to do so. It is much better that your friends 
should part with you reluctantly, than you should give 
them reason to wish your visit shorter. Even if it 
has been very pleasant on both sides, it may not con- 
tinue so if prolonged too far. Take care of wearing 
out your welcome. Besides, your room may be 
wanted for another guest. 

On your first evening, enquire the hours of the 
house, that you may always be ready to comply with 
them. Rise early enough to be washed and dressed 
in time for breakfast; but if you are ready too early, 
remain in your own apartment, or walk about the 
garden, or go to the library till the cleaning and 
arranging of the sitting-room has been completed. 
Meanwhile, you can occupy yourself with a book, if 
you stay in your own room. 

As soon as you quit your bed, take off the bed- 
clothes, (each article separately,) and spread them 
widely over the chairs, turning the mattrass or bed as 
far down as it will go. This will give the bedding 
time to air ; and in all houses it should be done every 
morning, the whole year round. Before you leave 
the room, raise the windows as high as they will go, 
(unless it should be raining, or snowing,) that the 
apartment may be well ventilated. Fortunate are 
those who have been accustomed to sleeping always 
with the sash more or less open, according to the 
weather, or the season. Their health will be much 
the better for the excellent practice of constantly 
admitting fresh air into their sleeping-room. See Dr. 


Franklin's essay on the "Art of Sleeping well." Mr. 
Combe, who has written copiously on this subject, says 
it not only improves the health, but the complexion ; 
and that ladies who follow this practice continue to 
look young long after those who sleep in close rooms 
have faded and shrivelled. '> Except in a very unhealthy 
climate, or in the neighbourhood of marshes, no ex- 
ternal air can be so unwholesome, or productive of 
such baneful effects on the constitution,' as the same 
air breathed over and over again in a close room, and 
returning continually to the lungs, till before morning 
it becomes unfit to be breathed at all. Sleeping with 
the windows closed in a room newly painted has pro- 
duced fatal diseases. To some lungs the vapour of 
white lead is poisonous. To none is it quite innoxious. 
Its dangerous properties may be neutralized by placing 
in newly-painted rooms, large tubs of water, into each 
of which has been mixed an ounce of vitriol. The 
tubs must be set near the walls, and the water and 
vitriol renewed every clay. The introduction of zinc- 
paint promises to put that of white lead out of use ; 
as zinc is quite as cheap, and not at all pernicious to 

At sleeping hours the air of a bedroom should be 
perfectly free from all scents, either pleasant or other- 
wise. Many persons cannot sleep with flowers in theii 
chamber, or with any sort of perfume. It is best not. 

If when on a visit, you find that the chambermaid 
does not make your bed so that you can sleep com- 
fortably, show her how to do it, (privately,) but say 
nothing to your hostess. There is but one way of 


making a bed properly; and yet it is surprising how 
little that way is known or remembered. First, shake 
up the bed high and evenly ; turning it over, and see 
that the foot is not higher than the head. If there is 
a mattrass above the bed, turn the mattrass half up, 
and then half down, till you have shaken up the bed 
beneath. Next spread on the under-sheet, laying it 
well over the bolster to secure it from dragging down 
and getting under the shoulders. However, to most 
beds now, there is a bolster-ease. Xhcn tuck in the 
under-sheet, well, at both sides, to prevent its getting 
loose and disordered in the night. For the same 
reason tuck in the - upper-sheet, well, at the foot, 
leaving the sides loose. Tuck in the blankets at 
bottom, but not at the sides. Lay the counterpane 
smoothly over the whole. Turn it down at the top ; 
and turn down the upper-sheet above it, so as to 
conceal the blankets entirely. 

Should the chambermaid neglect your room, or be 
remiss in filling your pitchers, or in furnishing you 
with clean towels, speak to her on the subject when 
alone. She will hardly, for her own sake, inform her 
mistress that you have had occasion to find fault with 
her ; unless she is very insolent or sulky, she will say 
she is sorry, and will promise to do better in future. 
Complaining to her mistress of these neglects will 
probably give offence to the lady, who may be of that- 
wayward (though too common) disposition which will 
allow no one except herself, to find any deficiency 
in her servants. As mistresses are frequently very 
touchy on these points, your hostess may hint that 


your statement is incredible, and that " no one ever 
omplained before." Above all things, avoid letting 
her know that you have found or felt insects in your 
bed; a circumstance that may chance sometimes to 
happen even in the best kept houses. In a warm 
climate, or in an old house, the utmost care and the 
most vigilant neatness cannot always prevent it. It 
may be caused by the bringing of baggage from boats, 
or ships, and by servants neglecting their own' beds ; a 
too common practice with them, unless the mistress or 
her housekeeper compels them to be cleanly, and sees 
that they are so. 

If you have proof positive that your bed is not free 
from these intolerable nuisances, confide this fact to 
the chambermaid only, and desire her to attend to it 
speedily. She will do so the more readily, if you 
promise her a reward in case of complete success. 
Enjoining her to manage this as quietly as possible, 
and to say nothing about it to any one, may spare 
you a scene with your hostess ; who, though you have 
always regarded her as your warm friend, may, not- 
withstanding, become your enemy for life, in conse- 
quence of your having presumed to be incommoded in 
her house, where "nobody ever complained before." 
A well-bred, sensible, good-tempered woman will not, 
of course, take offence for such a cause; and will 
believe that there must have been good reason for the 
complaint, rather than suppose that her guest and her 
friend would mention so delicate a subject even to a 
servant, unless there was positive proof. And she 
will rightly think it was well to make it known, and 


have it immediately remedied. But all women who 
invite friends to visit them, are not sensible and good- 
tempered. Therefore, take care. 

For similar reasons, should a servant purloin any 
article belonging to you, (and servants, considered 
quite honest, will sometimes pilfer from a visiter when 
they would not dare to do so from their mistress,) it is 
safest to pass it over, unless the article stolen is of 
consequence. You may find your hostess very un- 
willing to believe that a servant of hers could possibly 
be dishonest; and much may be said, or evidently 
thought, that will be very painful to you, her guest. 

Notwithstanding all that may be said to you about 
"feeling yourself perfectly at home," and " considering 
your friend's house as your own," be very careful not 
literally to do so. In fact, it is impossible you should 
with any propriety — particularly, if it is your first 
visit. You cannot possibly know the real character 
and disposition of any acquaintance, till after you 
have had some experience in living under the same 
roof. If you find your hostess all that you can desire, 
and that she is making your visit every way agreeable, 
be very grateful to her, and let her understand that 
you are exceedingly happy at her house; but avoid 
staying too long, or taxing her kindness too highly. 

Avoid encroaching unreasonably upon her time. 
Expect her not to devote an undue portion of it to 
you. She will probably be engaged in the superin- 
tendence of household affairs, or in the care of her 
young children, for two or three hours after breakfast. 
So at these hours do not intrude upon her, — but amuse 


yourself with some occupation of your own, till you 
see that it is convenient to the family for you to join 
them in the sitting-room. In summer afternoons, 
retire for an hour or more, soon after dinner, to your 
own apartment, that you may give your friends an 
opportunity of taking their naps, and that you may do 
the same yourself. You will be brighter in the even- 
ing, from indulging in this practice ; and less likely 
to feel sleepy, when you ought to be wide awake, and 
ready to assist in entertaining your entertainers. A 
silent visiter, whether silent from dulness or indo- 
lence, or a habit of taciturnity, is never an agreeable 

Yet, however pleasant the conversation, have suffi- 
cient self-denial to break off in seasonable time, so as 
not to keep the family up by continuing in the parlour 
till a late hour. Some of them may be tired and 
sleepy, though you are not. And between ten and 
eleven o'clock it is well to retire. 

If you have shopping to do, and are acquainted 
with the town, you can be under no necessity of 
imposing on any lady of the family the task of 
accompanying you. To shop for others, or with 
others, is a most irksome fatigue. Even when a 
stranger in the place, you can easily, by enquiring of 
the family, learn where the best stores are to be 
found, and go to them by yourself. 

While you are a guest at the house of a friend, do 
not pass too much of your time in visiting at other 
houses, unless she is with you. You have no right to 
avail yourself of the conveniences of eating and sleep- 

18 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

ing at her mansion, without giving her and her family 
the largest portion of your company. 

"While a guest yourself, it is taking an unwarrantable 
liberty to invite any of your friends or relatives to 
come there and spend a day or clays.* 

Refrain from visiting any person with whom your 
hostess is at enmity, even if that person has been one 
of your own intimate friends. You will in all proba- 
bility be regarded as "a spy in the camp." There is 
nothing so difficult as to observe a strict neutrality ; 
and on hearing both sides, it is scarcely possible not 
to lean more to the one than to the other. The friend 
whose hospitality you are enjoying will soon begin to 
look coldly upon you, if she finds you seeking the 
society of her enemy; and she may evince that cold- 
ness whenever you come home from these visits. 
However unjust her suspicions, it is too probable she 
may begin to think that you are drawn in to make 
her, and her house, and family, subjects of conversation 
when visiting her adversary ; therefore, she will cease 
to feel kindly toward you. If you understand, soon 
after your arrival, that there is no probability of a 
reconciliation, send at once a concise note to the lady 
with whom your hostess is at variance ; express your 
regret at the circumstance, and excuse yourself from 
visiting her while you remain in your present residence. 
This note should be polite, short, and decisive, and so 
worded as to give no offence to either side ; for, before 

* So it is to order the carriage without first asking permission 
of your hostess. 


ponding, it is proper for you to show it, while ye* 
unsealed, to the friend with whom you are staying 
And then let the correspondence be carried no further 
The lady to whom it is addressed, will, of course, 
return a polite answer; such as you may show to 
your hostess. 

It is to be presumed, she will not be so lost to all 
delicacy and propriety, as to intrude herself into the 
house of her enemy for the purpose of visiting you. 
But, if she does, it is your place civilly to decline 
seeing her. A slight coolness, a mere offence on a 
point of etiquette, which, if let alone, would die 
out like a tinder-spark, has been fanned, and blown 
into a flame by the go-betweening of a so-called mutual 
friend. We repeat, while you are a visiter at a house, 
hold no intercourse with any foe of that house. It is 
unkind and disrespectful to the family with whom you 
are staying, and very unsafe for yourself. 

If you know that your friends are hurried with 
their sewing, or with preparations for company, offer 
to assist them, as far as you can. But if you are 
conscious of an incapacity to do such things well, it is 
better to excuse yourself by candidly saying so, than 
to attempt them and spoil them. At the same time, 
express your willingness to learn, if permitted. And 
you may learn, while staying at the house of a clever, 
notable friend, many things that you have hitherto 
had no opportunity of acquiring. 

When called on by any of your own acquaintances* 
they will not expect you to ask them to stay to tea, 


or to dinner. That is the business of your hostess — 
not yours. 

If you are a young lady that has beaux, remember 
that you have no right to encourage the over-fre- 
quency of their visits in any house that is not your 
home, or to devote much of your time and attention 
to flirtation with them. Above all, avoid introducing 
to the family of your entertainers, young men whom 
they are likely in any respect to disapprove. No 
stranger who has the feelings of a gentleman, will 
make a second visit to any house unless he is invited 
by the head of the family, and he will take care that 
his visits shall not begin too early, or continue too 
late. However delightful he may find the society of 
his lady-fair, he has no right to incommode the family 
with whom she is staying, by prolonging his visks to 
an unseasonable hour. If he seems inclined to do so, 
there is nothing amiss in his fair-one herself hinting 
to him that it is past ten o'clock. Also, there should 
be "a temperance" even in his morning calls. It is 
rude in a young lady and gentleman to monopolize 
one of the parlours nearly all the forenoon — even if 
they are really courting — still more if they are only 
pretending to court ; for instance, sitting close to each 
other, and whispering on subjects that might be dis- 
cussed aloud before the whole house, and talked of 
across the room. 

Young ladies noted for abounding in beaux, are 
generally rather inconvenient visiters ; except in very 
spacious houses, and in gay, idle families. They 
should not take the liberty of inviting the said beaux 


to stay to dinner or to tea. Leave that civility to 
the head of the house, — without whose invitation no 
gentleman ought to remain. 

It is proper for visiters to put out and pay for 
their own washing, ironing, &c. Therefore, carry 
among your baggage two clothes-bags; one to be 
taken away by the laundress, the other to^ receive 
your clothes in the interval. You may always hear 
of a washerwoman, by enquiring of the servants of 
the house. 

On no consideration question the servants, or talk 
to them about the family, particularly if they are 

Take with you a small writing-case, containing 
whatever stationery you may be likely to want during 
your visit; including post-office stamps. Thus you 
will spare yourself, and spare the family, the incon- 
venience of applying to them whenever you have 
occasion for pen, ink, paper, &c. If you have no 
ink with you, the first time you go out, stop in at 
a stationer's store, and buy a small sixpenny bottle 
that will stand steadily alone, and answer the purpose 
of an inkstand. Also, take care to be well supplied 
vith all sorts of sewing articles. There are young 
ladies who go from home on long visits, quite unpro- 
vided with even thimbles and scissors ; depending all 
the time on borrowing. Many visiters, though very 
agreeable in great things, are exceedingly troublesome 
in little ones. 

Take care not to slop your washing-stand, or to lay 
a piece of wet soap upon it. Spread your wet towels 


fully on the towel-rail. See that your trunks are 

not placed so near the wall as to injure the paper or 
paint when the lid is thrown back. 

If, when travelling, you are to stop but one night at 
the house of a friend, it is not necessary, for that one 
night, to have all your baggage carried up-stairs, 
particularly if your trunks are large or heavy. Be- 
fore leaving home, put into your carpet-bag all the 
things you will require for that night ; and then no 
other article of your baggage need be taken up to 
your chamber. They can be left down-stairs, in 
some safe and convenient place, which your hostess 
will designate. This will save much trouble, and 
preclude all the injury that may otherwise accrue to 
the banisters and staircase-wall, by the corners of 
trunks knocking against them. It is possible to put 
into a carpet-satchel (that can be carried in your own 
hand) a night-gown and night-cap, (tightly rolled,) 
with hair-brush, combs, tooth-brush, &c. It is sur- 
prising how much these hand-satchels may be made 
to contain, when packed closely. No lady or gentle- 
man should travel without one. In going from home 
for one night only, a satchel is, frequently, all that is 

On concluding your visit, tell your entertainers 
that it has been pleasant, and express your gratitude 
for the kindness you have received from them, and' 
your hope that they will give you an opportunity 
of returning their civilities. Give a parting gratuity 
to each of the servants — the sum being according 
to your means, and to the length of your visit. 


Give this to each servant with your oivn hand*, 
going to them for the purpose. Do not tempt their 
integrity, by intrusting (for instance) to the chamber- 
maid the fee intended for the cook. She may dis- 
honestly keep it to herself, and make the cook believe 
that you were "so mean as to go away without leaving 
any thing at all for her." Such things have happened, 
as we know. Therefore, give all your fees in person. 

After you get home, write very soon (within two 
or three days) to the friend at whose house you have 
been staying, tell her of your journey, &c, and allude 
to your visit as having been very agreeable. 

The visit over, be of all things careful not to repeat 
any thing that has come to your knowledge in con- 
sequence, and which your entertainers would wish to 
remain unknown. While inmates of their house, you 
may have unavoidably become, acquainted with some 
particulars of their way of living not generally known, 
and which, perhaps, would not raise them in public 
estimation, if disclosed. Having been their guest, 
and partaken of their hospitality, you are bound in 
honour to keep silent on every topic that would injure 
them in the smallest degree, if repeated. Unhappily, 
there are ladies so lost to shame, as, after making a 
long visit, to retail for the amusement of their cronies, 
all sorts of invidious anecdotes concerning the family 
at whose house they have been staying ; adding by 
way of corroboration — "I assure you this is all true, 
for I stayed five or six weeks at their house, and had 
a good chance of knowing." More shame then to 
tell it! 

24 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

Whatever painful discoveries are mafic during a 
visit, should be kept as closely secret as if secrecy 
was enjoined by oath. It is not sufficient to refrain 
from "mentioning names/ 1 No clue should be given 
that could possibly enable the hearers even to hazard 
a guess. 



Having invited a friend to pass a few days or 
weeks at your house, and expecting her at a certain 
time, send a carriage to meet her at the rail-road 
depot or the steam-boat wharf, and if her host or 
hostess goes in it, so much the better; but do not 
take the children along, crowding the vehicle, for the 
sake of giving them a ride. Arriving at your house, 
have her baggage taken at once to the apartment 
prepared for her, and when she goes up-stairs, send a 
servant with her to unstrap her trunks. Then let her 
be left alone to arrange her dress. It is to be sup- 
posed that before her arrival, the mistress of the 
house has inspected the chamber of her guest, to see 
that all is right — that there are two pitchers full of 
fresh water on the stand, and three towels on the rail, 
(two fine and one coarse,) with a china mug for teetk- 
jleanmg, and a tumbler to drink from; a slop jar of 
course, and a foot-bath. We conclude that in all 


genteel and well-furnished houses, none of these arti- 
cles are wanting in every bedroom. On the mantel- 
piece a candle or lamp, with a box of lucifer matches 
beside it — the candle to be replaced by a new one 
every morning when the chambermaid arranges the 
room— or the lamp to be trimmed daily ; so that the 
visiter may have a light at hand whenever she pleases, 
without ringing the bell and waiting till a servant 
brings one up. 

By-the-bye, w T hen a guest is expected, see previously 
that the bells and locks of her room are in order ; and 
if they are not, have them repaired. 

If it is cold weather, let her find a good fire in her 
room ; and the shutters open, that she may have suffi- 
cient light. Also an extra blanket, folded, and laid 
on the foot of the bed. If summer, let the sashes be 
raised, and the shutters bowed. The room should 
have an easy chair with a heavy foot-cushion before 
it, — a low chair also, to sit on when shoes and stock- 
ings are to be changed, and feet washed. In a spare 
chamber there should be both a mattrass . and a 
feather-bed, that your visiters may choose which 
they will have uppermost. Though you and all your 
own family may like to sleep hard, your guests may 
find it difficult to sleep at all on a mattrass with a 
paillasse under it. To many constitutions hard sleep- 
ing is not only intolerable, but pernicious to health. 

Let the centre-table be furnished with a writing- 
case well supplied with all that is necessary, the ink- 
stand filled, and with good black ink ; and some sneets 
of letter-paper and note-paper laid near it. ^xlso, 


some books, such as you think your friend will like 
Let her find, at least, one bureau vacant; all the 
drawers empty, so that she may be able to unpack her 
muslins, &c., and arrange them at once. The same 
with the wardrobe or commode, so that she may have 
space to hang up her dresses — the press-closet, like- 
wise, should be for her use while she stays. 

By giving up the spare bedroom entirely to your 
visiter you will very much oblige her, and preclude 
the necessity of disturbing or interrupting her by 
coming in to get something out of drawers, closets, &c. 

Every morning, after the chambermaid has done 
her duty, (the room of the visiter is the first to be put 
in order,) the hostess should go in to see that all is 
right. This done, no further inspection is nece- 
for that day. There are ladies who, when a friend is 
staying with them, are continually slipping into her 
chamber when she is out of it, to see if the guest has 
done nothing amisa — such as moving a chair to suit 
her own convenience, or opening a shutter to let in 
more light, at the possible risk of hastening imper- 
ceptibly the fading of the carpet. There are families 
who condemn themselves to a perpetual twilight, by 
living in the dimness of closed shutters, to the great 
injury of their eyes. And this is endured to retard 
awhile the fading of furniture too showy for comfort. 
We have seen staircase-windows kept always shut and 
bolted, (so that visiters had to grope their way in 
darkness,) lest the small portion of stair-carpet just 
beneath the window should fade before the rest. 

It is not pleasant to be a guest in a house where 


you perceive that your hostess is continually and 
fretfully on the watch, lest some almost imperceptible 
injury should accrue to the furniture. We have 
known ladies who were always uneasy when their 
visiters sat down on a sofa or an ottoman, and could 
not forbear inviting them to change their seats and 
take chairs. We suppose the fear was that the more 
the damask-covered seats were used, the sooner they 
would wear out. Let no visiter be so rash as to sit 
on a pier-divan with her back near a mirror. The 
danger is imminent — not only of breaking the glass 
by inadvertently leaning against it, but of certainly 
fretting its owner, with uneasiness, all the time. 
Children should be positively interdicted taking these 
precarious seats. 

It is very kind and considerate to enquire of your 
guest if there is any cLsh, or article of food that she 
particularly likes, so that you may have it on the 
table while she stays ; and also, if there is any thing 
peculiarly disagreeable to her, so that you may refrain 
from having it during her visit. A well-bred and 
sensible woman will not encroach upon your kindness, 
or take an undue advantage of it, in this respect or 
any other. 

For such deficiencies as may be avoided or remedied, 
refrain from making the foolish apology that you 
consider her "no stranger" — and that you regard her 
"just as one of the family." If you invite her at all, 
it is your duty, for your own sake as well as hers, to 
treat her well in every thing. You will lose nothing 
by doing so. 

28 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

If she desires to assist you in sewing, and Iils 
brought no work of her own, von may avail yourself 
of her offer, and employ her in moderation — but let it 
be in moderation only, and when sitting in the family 
circle. When alone in her own room, she, of course, 
would much rather read, write, or occupy herself in 
some way for her own benefit, or amusement. There 
are ladies who seem to expect that their guests should 
perform as much work as hired seamstresses. 

Let the children be strictly forbidden to run into 
the apartments of visiters. Interdict them from 
going thither, unless sent with a message ; and then 
let them be made to understand that they are always 
to knock at the door, and not go in till desired to do 
so. Also, that they are not to play and make a 
noise in the neighbourhood of her room. And when 
she comes into the parlour, that they are not to jump 
on her lap, put their hands into her pockets, or rum- 
mage her work-basket, or rumple and soil her dress 
by clinging to it with their hands. Neither should 
they be permitted to amuse themselves by rattling on 
the lower keys when she is playing on the piano, or 
interrupt her by teazing her all the time to play "for 
them to dance." All this we have seen, and the 
mothers have never checked it. To permit children 
to ask visiters for pennies or sixpences is mean and 
contemptible. And, if money is given them by a 
guest, they should be made to return it immediately. 

Enquire on the first evening, if your visiter is ac- 
customed to taking any refreshment before she retires 
for the night. If she is, have something sent up to 


her room every night, unless your own family are in 
the same habit. Then let sufficient for all be brought 
into the parlour. These little repasts are very pleasant, 
especially at the close of a long winter evening, and 
after coming home from a place of public amusement. 
To "welcome the coming — speed the parting 
guest" — is a good maxim. So when your visiter is 
about to leave you, make all smooth and convenient 
for her departure. Let her be called up at an early 
hour, if she is to set out in the morning. Send a 
servant up to strap and bring down her trunks, as 
soon as she has announced that they are ready ; and 
see that an early breakfast is prepared for her, and 
some of the family up and dressed to share it with 
her. Slip some cakes into her satchel for her to eat 
on the road, in case, by some chance, she should not 
reach the end of her journey at the usual hour. Have 
a carriage at the door in due time, and let some male 
member of the family accompany her to the starting- 
place and see her off, attending to her baggage and 
procuring her tickets. 




When you have invited a friend to take tea with 
you, endeavour to render her visit as agreeable aa 
you can; and try by all means to make her comfort-, 
able. See that your lamps are lighted at an early 
hour, particularly those of the entry and stair-case, 
those parts of the house always becoming dark as 
soon as the sun is down ; and to persons coming in 
directly from the light of the open air, they always 
seem darker than they really are. Have the parlours 
lighted rather earlier than usual, that your guest, on 
her entrance, may be in no danger of running against 
the tables, or stumbling over chairs. In rooms heated 
by a furnace, or by any other invisible fire, it is still 
more necessary to have the lamps lighted early. 

If there is a coal-grate, see that the fire is burning 
clear and brightly, that the bottom has been well- 
raked of cinders and ashes, and the hearth swept 
clean. A dull fire, half-choked with dead, cinders, 
and an ashy hearth, give a slovenly and dreary aspect 
to the most elegantly furnished parlour. A sufficiently 
large grate (if the fire is well made up, and plenty of 
fresh coal put on about six o'clock) will generally 
require no further replenishing during the evening, 


unless the weather is unusually cold ; and then more 
fuel should be added at eight or nine o'clock, so as to 
make the room comfortable. 

In summer evenings, let the window-sashes be kept 
up, or the .slats of the venitian blinds turned open, so 
that your guest may find the atmosphere of the rooms 
cool and pleasant. There should always be fans 
(feather or palm-leaf) on the centre-tables. 

The domestic that attends the door should be 
instructed to show the guest up-stairs, as soon as she 
arrives ; conducting her to an unoccupied apartment, 
where she may take off her bonnet, and arrange her 
hair, or any part of her dress that may require change 
or improvement. The lady should then be left to 
herself. Nothing is polite that can possibly incom- 
mode or embarrass — therefore, it is a mistaken civility 
for the hostess, or some female member of the family 
to follow the visiter up-stairs, and remain with her all 
the time she is preparing for her appearance in the 
parlour. We have seen an -inquisitive little girl per- 
mitted by her mother to accompany a guest to the 
dressing-table, and watch her all the while she was at 
the glass ; even following her to the corner in which 
she changed her shoes ; the child talking, and asking 
questions incessantly. This should not be. Let both 
mothers and children understand that, on all occasions, 
over-officiousness is not politeness, and that nothing 
troublesome and inconvenient is ever agreeable. 

The toilet-table should be always furnished with a 
clean hair-brush, and a nice comb. We recommend 
those hair-brushes that have a mirror on the back, so 


as to afford the lady a glimpse of the back of her 

head and neck. Better still, as an appendage to a 
dressing-tab'le, is a regular hand-mirror, of sufficient 
size to allow a really satisfactory view. These hand- 
mirrors are very convenient, to he used in conjunction 
with the large dressing-glass. Their cost is but 
trifT lg. The toilet-pincushion should always have 
pin» in it. A small work-box properly furnished with 
needles, scissors, thimble, and cotton-spools, ought 
also to find a place on the dressing-table, in case the 
visiter may have occasion to repair any accident that 
may have happened to her dress. 

For want of proper attention to such things, in an 
ill-ordered, though perhaps a very showy establish- 
ment, we have known an expected visiter ushered first 
into a dark entry, then shown into a dark parlour 
with an ashy hearth, and the fire nearly out : then, 
after groping her way to a seat, obliged to wait till a 
small hand-lamp could be procured to light her dimly 
up a steep, sharp-turning stair-case ; and then, by the 
same lamp, finding on the neglected dressing-table a 
broken comb, an old brush, and an empty pincushion, 
— or (quite as probably) nothing at all — not to men- 
tion two or three children coming to watch and starr 
at her. On returning to the parlour, the visiter would 
probably find the fire just then making up, and the 
lamp still unlighted, because it had first to be trimmed. 
Meanwhile, the guest commences her vijk with an 
uncomfortable feeling of self-reproach for coming 
too early; all things denoting that she was not 
expected so soon. In such houses everybody cornea 


too early. However late, there will be nothing in 

The hostess should be in the parlour, prepared 
to receive her visiter, and to give her at once a 
seat in the corner of a sofa, or in a fauteuil, or large 
comfortable chair; if a rocking-chair, a footstool is 
an indispensable appendage. By-the-bye, the "'izzy 
and ungraceful practice of rocking in a rocking-cnair 
is now discontinued by all genteel people, except 
when entirely alone. A lady should never be seen to 
rock in a chair, and the rocking of a gentleman looks 
silly. Rocking is only fit for a nurse putting a babj 
to sleep. When children get into a large rocking- 
chair, they usually rock it over backward, and fall 
out. These chairs are now seldom seen in a parlour. 
Handsome, stuffed easy chairs, that are moved on 
castors, are substituted — and of these, half a dozen of 
various forms are not considered too many. 

Give your visiter a fan to cool herself, if the room 
is warm, or to shade her eyes from the glare of the 
fire or the light — for the latter purpose, a broad hand- 
screen is generally used, but a palm-leaf fan will do 
for both. In buying these fans, choose those whose 
handle is the firm natural stem, left remaining on the 
leaf. They are far better than those with handles of 
bamboo, which in a short time become loose and 

There are many persons who, professing never to 
use a fan themselves, seem to think that nobody can 
Dy any chance require one; and therefore they 
selfishly keep nothing of the sort in their rooms. 


Tf, in consequence of dining very late, you are m 
the custom of also taking tea at a late hour — or 
making but slight preparations for that repast — waive 

that custom when you expect a friend whom you 

know to be in the practice of dining early, and who, 
perhaps, has walked far enough to feel fatigued, and 
to acquire an appetite. For her accommodation, order 
the tea earlier than usual, and let it be w T hat is called 
"&good tea." If there is ample room at table, do 
not have the tea carried round, — particularly if you 
have but one servant to hand the whole. It is 
tedious, inconvenient, and unsatisfactory. There is 
no comfortable way of eating bread and butter, toast, 
or buttered cakes, except when seated at table. When 
handed round, there is always a risk of their greasing 
the dresses of the ladies — the greasing of lingers is 
inevitable — though that is of less consequence, now 7 
that the absurd practice of eating in gloves is wisely 
abolished among genteel people. 

Still, if the company is too numerous for all to be 
commodiously seated at the usual family table, and if 
the table cannot be enlarged — it is better to have tea 
carried round by tivo servants, even if an extra one is 
hired for the occasion, than to crowd your guests 
uncomfortably. One person too many will cause 
inconvenience to all the rest, however the hostess 
may try to pass it off, by assuring the company that 
there is quite room enough, and that she has seen a 
still larger number seated round that very table. 
"Everybody knows that "what's impossible a'n't true." 

In setting a tea-table, see that there is not only 


enough, but more than enough of cups and saucers, 
plates, knives and forks, spoons, napkins, &c. Let 
the extra articles be placed near the lady of the 
house,— to be distributed, if wanted. We have known 
families who had the means and the inclination to be 
hospitable, that never sat down to table without 
several spare covers, as the French call them, ready 
for accidental guests. 

Unless you have domestics on whom you can im- 
plicitly rely, it is well to go into the eating-room 
about ten minutes before the announcement of tea, 
and to see that all is right ; that the tea is strong and 
properly made, and the pot (which should be scalded 
twice) is not filled nearly to overflowing with a super- 
abundance of water. The practice of drowning away 
all the flavour of the tea is strangely prevalent with 
servants ; who are also very apt to neglect scalding 
the tea-pot ; and who do not, or will not, remember 
that the kettle should be boiling hard at the moment 
the water is poured on the tea — otherwise the infusion 
will be insipid and tasteless, no matter how liberally 
the Chinese plant has been afforded. 

If your cook is not habitually a good coffee-maker, 
the coffee will most probably be sent in cold, thick, 
and weak — for want of some previous supervision. 
Let it have that supervision. 

We have heard of tea-tables (even in splendid 
establishments) being left entirely to the mismanage- 
ment of incompetent or negligent servants; so that 
when the company sat down, there was found a 
deficiency in some of the indispensable appendages; 

3G mtss Leslie's behaviour book. 

such as spoons, and even forks, and napkins — butter- 
knives forgotten, and (worse than all) cooking -butter 
served in mistake for the better sort. By-the-bye, 
the use of cooking-butter should be abolished in all 
genteel-houses. If the butter is not good enough to 
eat on the surface of cold bread or on warm cakes, it 
is not good enough to eat in the inside of sweet cakes, 
or in pastry, or in any thing else ; and is totally unfit 
to be mixed with vegetables or sauces. The use of 
butter is to make things taste well ; if it makes them 
taste ill, let it be entirely omitted : for bad butter is 
not only unpalatable, but unwholesome. There are 
houses in which the money wasted on one useless 
bauble for the drawing-room would furnish the family 
with excellent fresh butter for a whole year — enough 
for all purposes. 

We know, by experience, that it is possible to make 
very fine butter even in the State of New York, and 
to have it fresh in winter as in summer, though not so 
rich and yellow- Let the cows be well fed, well 
skeltered, and kept fat and clean — the dairy utensils 
always in perfect order—churning done twice or thrice 
every week — all the milk worked well out — and the 
butter will surely be good. 

If cakes for tea have been made at home, and they 
have turned out failures, (as is often the case with 
home-made cakes where there is not much practice 
in baking them,) do not have them brought to table 
at all, but send to a shop and get others. It is rude 
to set before your guests what you know is unfit for 
them to eat. And heavy, tough, ill-baked things are 


discreditable to any house where the means of obtain- 
ing better are practicable. 

In sending for cakes to a confectioner, do not a 
second time allow him to put you off with stale ones. 
This many confectioners are in the practice of doijig, 
if it is passed over without notice. Stale cakes should 
at once be sent back, (with a proper reproof,) and 
fresh ones required. Let the confectioner with whom 
you deal, understand that he is not to palm off his 
stale cakes upon you, and that you will not keep them 
when sent. You will then find that fresh ones will 
generally be forthcoming. It is always well to send 
for cakes in the early part of the afternoon. 

Have a pitcher of ice-water on the side-table, and 
a tumbler beside every plate — as most persons like tc 
finish with a glass of water. 

Do not, on sitting down to table, inform your guest 
that "you make no stranger of her," or that you fear 
she will not be able to "make out" at your plain 
table. These apologies are ungenteel and foolish. 
If your circumstances will not allow you on any con- 
sideration to make a little improvement in your usual 
family-fare, your friend is, in all probability, aware 
of the fact, and will not wish or expect you to incur 
any inconvenient expense on her account. But if you 
are known to possess the means of living well, you 
ought to do so ; and to consider a good, though not an 
extravagantly luxurious table as a necessary part of 
your expenditure. There is a vast difference between 
laudable economy and mean economy. The latter 
(whether it shows itself in bad food, bad fires, bad 


lights, bad servants) is never excused in persons who 
dress extravagantly, and live surrounded by costly 
furniture, and who are universally known to be 
wealthy, and fully able to afford comfort, as well as 

If you invite a friend to tea, in whose own family 
there is no gentlemen, or no man-servant, it is your 
duty previously to ascertain that you can provide 
her on that evening with an escort home; and in 
giving the invitation, you should tell her so, that she 
may know on what to depend. If you keep a 
carriage, it will be most kind to send her home in it. 

Even if it is your rule to have the entry-lamp 
extinguished at a certain hour, let your servants 
understand that this rule must be dispensed with, as 
long as an evening-visiter remains in the house. 
Also, do not have the linen covers put on the 
furniture, and the house audibly shut up for the 
night, before she has gone. To do this is rude, 
because she cannot but receive it as a hint that she 
has staid too long. 

If your visiter is obliged to go home with no other 
escort than your servant-man, apprize him, in time, 
that this duty will be expected of him ; desiring that 
he takes care to be at hand before ten o'clock. 

A lady that has no escort whose services she can 
command, ought not to make unexpected tea-visits. 
In many cases these visits produce more inconvenience 
than pleasure. If you wish to "take tea sociably" 
with a friend, inform her previously of your intention. 
She will then let you know if she is disengaged on 


that evening, or if it is in any way inconvenient to 
receive you; and she will herself appoint another 
time. Generally, it is best not to volunteer a tea- 
visit, but to wait till invited. 

If you are engaged to take tea with an intimate 
friend, who assures you that you will see none but 
the family ; and you afterward receive an invitation 
to join a party to a place of public amusement, which 
you have long been desirous of visiting, you may 
retract your first engagement, provided you send an 
apology in due time, telling the exact truth, and 
telling it in polite terms. Your intimate friend will 
then take no offence, considering it perfectly natural 
that you should prefer the concert, the play, or the 
exhibition, to a quiet evening passed at her house with 
no other guests. But take cart to let her know as 
early as possible.* And be careful not to disappoint 
her again in a similar manner. 

If you are accustomed to taking coffee in the 
evening, and have an insuperable dislike to tea, it is 
best not to make an unexpected visit — or at least, if 
you go at all, go early — so as to allow ample time for 
the making of coffee — a much slower process than 
that of tea; particularly as there may chance to be 
no roasted coffee in the house. Much inconvenience 
has been caused by the "sociable visiting" of deter- 
mined coffee-drinkers. It is very easy to make green 
or black tea at a short notice — but not coffee. 

* Where the city-post is to be depended on, a note can always be 
6ent in that way. 


In inviting "a few friends," which means a small 
select company, endeavour to assort them suitably, 
so as not to bring together people who have no 
community of tastes, feelings, and ideas. If you mix 
the dull and stupid with the bright and animated, the 
cold and formal with the frank and lively, the pro- 
fessedly serious with the gay and cheerful, the light 
with the heavy, and above all, those who pride them- 
selves on high birth (high birth in America?) with 
those who boast of "'belonging to the people," none 
of these "few friends" will enjoy each other's society; 
the evening will not go off agreeably, and you and 
the other members of your family will have the worst 
of it. The pleasantest people in the room will natu- 
rally congregate together, and the task of entertain- 
ing the unentertainable will devolve on yourself and 
your own people. 

Still, it is difficult always to assort your company 
to your satisfaction and theirs. A very charming 
lady may have very dull or very silly sisters. An 
intelligent and refined daughter may be unfortunate 
in a coarse, ignorant mother, or a prosing, tiresome, 
purse-proud father. Some of the most delighted 
persons you may wish to invite, may be encumbered 
with relations totally incapable of adding any thing 
to the pleasure of the evening ; — for instance, the 
numerous automatons, whom we must charitably be- 
lieve are speechless merely from diffidence, and of 
whom we are told, that "if we only knew them," we 
should discover them, on intimate acquaintance, to be 
"quite intelligent people." Perhaps so. But we 


cannot help thinking that when a head is full of ideas, 
some of them will involuntarily ooze out and he 
manifest. Diffidence is very becoming to young 
people, and to those who are new to the world. But 
it is hardly credible that it should produce a painful 
taciturnity in persons who have passed from youth 
into maturity ; and who have enjoyed the advantages 
of education and of living in good society. Still 
those who, as the French say, have " a great talent 
for silence," may redeem themselves from suspicion 
of stupidity, by listening attentively and understand- 
ingly. A good talker is never displeased with a good 

We have often met with young ladies from whom 
it was scarcely possible for one of their own sex 
to extract more than a few monosyllables at long 
intervals ; those intervals being passed in dozing, 
rather than in hearing. And yet, if any thing in the 
shape of a beau presented itself, the tongues of these 
"dumb belles" were immediately loosened, and the 
wells of their minds commenced running as glibly as 
possible. To be sure, the talk amounted to nothing 
definite; but still they did talk, and often became 
quite lively in a few minutes. Great is the power of 
beaux ! 

To return to the tea-table. — Unless you are posi- 
tively sure, when you have a visiter, that she drinks 
the same tea that is used in your own family, you 
should have both black and green on the table. Either 
sort is often extremely disagreeable to persons who 
take the other. Drinkers of green tea, for instance, 

42 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

have generally an unconquerable aversion to black, 
as tasting like bay, herbs, &c, and they find in it no 
refreshing or exhilarating property. In some, it 
produces nausea. Few, on the other hand, dislike 
the taste of good green tea, but they assign as a 
reason for not drinking it, that it is supposed from 
its enlivening qualities to affect the nerves. Judge 
Bushrod Washington, who always drank green, and 
avoided black, said that, " he took tea as a beverage, 
not as a medicine." And there are a vast number of 
sensible people in the same category. If your guest 
is a votary of green tea, have it made for her, in time 
for the essence of the leaves to be well drawn forth. 
It is no compliment to give her green tea that is weak 
and washy. And do not, at your own table, be so 
rude as to lecture her upon the superior wholesome- 
ness of black tea. For more than a century, green 
tea was universally drunk in every house, and there 
was then less talk of nervous diseases than during the 
reign of Souchong, — which, by-the-bye, is nearly ex- 
ploded in the best European society. 

In pouring out, do not fill the cups to the brim. 
Always send the cream and sugar round, that each 
person may use those articles according to their own 
taste. Also, send round a small pot of hot water, 
that those who like their tea weak may conveniently 
dilute it. • If tea is handed, a servant should, at the 
last, carry round a water-pitcher and glasses. 

Whether at dinner or tea, if yourself and family 
are in the habit of eating fast, (which, by the way, is 
a very bad and unwholesome one, and justly cited 


against us by our English cousins,) and you see that 
your visiter takes her food deliberately, endeavour 
(for that time at least) to check the rapidity of your 
own mastication, so as not to finish before she has 
done, and thus compel her to hurry herself uncom- 
fortably, or be left alone while every one round her 
is sitting unoccupied and impatient. Or rather, let 
the family eat a little more than usual, or seem to do 
so, out of politeness to their guest. 

When refreshments are brought in after tea, let 
them be placed on the centre-table, and handed round 
from thence by the gentlemen to the ladies. If there 
are only four or five persons present, it may be more 
convenient for all to sit round the table — which should 
not be cleared till after all the visiters have gone, 
that the things may again be offered before the de- 
parture of the guests. 

'If a friend makes an afternoon call, and you wish 
her to stay and take tea, invite her to do so at once, 
as soon as she has sat down ; and do not wait till she 
has risen to depart. If she consents to stay, there 
will then be ample time to make any additional pre- 
paration for tea that may be expedient ; and she will 
also know, at once, that you have no engagement for 
the evening, and that she is not intruding on your 
time, or preventing you from going out. If you are 
intimate friends, and your guest is disposed to have a 
long chat, she will do well to ask you, at the begin- 
ning, if you are disengaged, or design going out that 

We knew a very sensible and agreeable lady in 

44 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

Philadelphia, who liking better to have company at 
home than to go out herself, made a rule of inviting 
every day, half a dozen friends (not more) to take tea 
with her — just as many as could sit round the table, 
" with ample room and verge enough." These friends 
she assorted judiciously. And therefore she never 
asked a whole family at once; those who were left 
out understanding that they would be invited another 
time. For instance, she would send a note for the 
father and mother only — to meet another father and 
mother or two. A few weeks after, a billet would 
come for the young people only. But if there were 
several young people, some were delayed — thus — " I 
wish James and Eliza to take tea with me this even- 
ing, to meet so-and-so. Another time I promise myself 
the pleasure of Edward's company, and Mary's." 

This distribution of invitations never gave offence. 

Those who were honoured with the acquaintance 
of such a lady were not likely to be displeased at so 
sensible a mode of receiving them. These little tea- 
drinkings were always pleasant, and often delightful. 
The hostess was well qualified to make them so. 

Though the refreshments were of the best kind, 
and in sufficient abundance, and the fires, lights, &c. 
all as they should be, there was no ostentatious dis- 
play, and the ladies were dressed no more than if 
they were spending a quiet evening at home — party- 
finery being interdicted — also, such needle-work as 
required constant attention to every stitch. 

If you have a friend who is in somewhat precarious 
health, and who is afraid of being out in the night 


air, or who lives in a distant park of the town, invito 
her to dinner, or to pass the day, rather than to tea. 
She will then be able to get home before twilight. 

There is in Boston a very fashionable and -very 
distinguished lady, who, since her return from Europe, 
has relinquished the custom of giving large parties; 
and now entertains her friends by, almost every day, 
having two or three to dine with her, — by invitation. 
These dinners are charming. The hour is according 
to the season — earlier in winter, later in summer — the 
guests departing before dark, and the lady always 
having the evening to herself. 

We know a gentleman in Philadelphia, who every 
Monday has a family-dinner at his house, for all his 
children and grandchildren, who there meet and enjoy 
themselves before the eyes of the father and mother 
— a friend or two being also invited. Nothing can be 
more pleasant than to see them all there together, 
none staying away, — for parents, children, sons-in- 
law, daughters-in-law, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, 
are all at peace, and all meeting in friendship — un^ 
happily, a rare case, where there is a large connec- 
tion, and considerable wealth. 

We wish that social intercourse was more frequently 
conducted on the plan of the few examples above 

Should chance-visiters come in before the family 
have gone to tea, let them at once be invited to par- 
take of that repast ; which they will of course decline, 
if they have had tea already. In a well-provided 
house, there can be no difficulty in adding something 


to the family tea-table, which, in genteel life, should 
never be discreditably parsimonious. 

It is a very mean practice, for the members of the 
family to slip out of the parlour, one by one at a time, 
and steal away into the eating-room, to avoid inviting 
their visiter to accompany them. The truth is always 
suspected by these separate exits, and the length of 
absence from the parlour — and is frequently betrayed 
by the rattle of china, and the pervading fumes of hot 
cakes. How much better to meet the inconvenience 
(and it cannot be a great one) by decently conducting 
your accidental guest to the table, unless he says he 
has already taken tea, and will amuse himself with a 
book while the family are at theirs. 

Casual evening visiters should avoid staying too 
late. Ten o'clock, in our country, is the usual time 
to depart, or at least to begin departing. If the visit 
is unduly prolonged, there may be evident signs of 
irrepressible drowsiness in the heads of the family, 
which, when perceived, will annoy the guest, who must 
then feel that he has stayed too long — and without 
being able to excuse himself with any approach to the 
elegance of William Spencer's apology to the charm- 
ing Lady Anne Hamilton. 

Too late I stay'd — forgive the crime; 

Unheeded flew the hours, 
For noiseless falls the foot of Time 

That only treads on flowers. 
Ah ! who with clear account remarks 

The ebbing of the glass, 
When all its sands are diamond sparks, 

That dazzle as they pass ! 




A lady is said to have the entree of her friend's 
room, when she is allowed or assumes the privilege of 
entering it familiarly at all times, and without any 
previous intimation- — a privilege too often abused. 
In many cases, the visited person has never really 
granted this privilege, (and after growing wise by 
experience, she rarely will ;) but the visiter, assuming 
that she herself must, under all circumstances, be 
welcome, carries her sociability so far as to become 
troublesome and inconvenient. Consequently, their 
friendship begins to abate in its warmth. No one 
likes to be annoyed, or be intruded on at all hours. 
So the visited begins to think of the adage, "My room 
is my castle," and the visiter finds that seeing a friend 
under all circumstances somewhat diminishes respect, 
and that "familiarity brings contempt." 

There are few occasions on which it is well, on 
entering a house, to run directly to the chamber of 
your friend, and to bolt into her room without knock- 
ing; or the very instant after knocking, before she 
has time to desire you to enter, or to make the 
slightest arrangement for your reception. You may 
find her washing, or dressing, or in bed, or eveu 

49 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

engaged in repairing clothes, — or the room may be in 
great disorder, or the chambermaid in the act of 
cleaning it. No one likes unseasonable interruptions, 
even ffom a very dear friend. That friend would be 
dearer still, if she had sufficient tact and consideration 
to refrain from causing these annoyances. Also, 
friendships are not always lasting — particularly those 
that become inordinately violent, and where both 
parties, by their excessive intimacy, put themselves 
too much into each other's power. Very mortifying 
disclosures are sometimes made after a quarrel, be- 
tween two Hermias and Helenas, when recrimination 
begins to come, and mutual enmity takes the place of 
mutual kindness. 

A familiar visit will always begin more pleasantly, 
if the visiter enquires of the servant at the door if 
the lady she wishes to see is at home, and then goes 
into the parlour, and stays there till she has sent her 
name, and ascertained that she can be received up- 
stairs.* Then (and not till then) let her go to her 
friend's room, and still remember to knock at the door 
before she enters. Let her have patience till her 
friend bids her come in, or has time to rise, cross the 
room, and come to open the door, if it is fastened. 

It is extremely rude, on being admitted to a private 
apartment, to look curiously about, as if taking an 
inventory of all that is to be seen. We have known 
ladies whose eyes were all the time gazing round, and 

* If the visiter has been properly announced, a well-trained 
servant will, in all probability, run up before her, and open th* 


even slily peering under tables, sofas, &c. ; turning 
their heads to look after every person who chanced to 
be moving about the room, and giving particular 
attention to whatever seemed to be in disorder or out 
of place. Nay, we have known one who prided her- 
self upon the gentility of her forefathers and fore- 
mothers, rise from her seat when her hostess opened 
a bureau-drawer, or a closet-door, and cross the room, 
to stand by and inspect the contents of said bureau 
or closet, while open — a practice very common with 
ill-taught children, but whicn certainly should be 
rebuked out of them long before they are grown up. 

Make no remark upon the work in which you find 
your friend engaged. If she lays it aside, desire her 
not to quit it because of your presence ; but propound 
no questions concerning it. Do not look over her 
books, and ask to borrow them. In short, meddle 
with nothing. 

Some ladies never enter the room of an intimate 
friend without immediately exclaiming against its heat 
or its cold — seldom the latter, but very frequently the 
former, as it is rather fashionable to be always too 
warm ; perhaps because it makes them seem younger. 
If they really are uncomfortably warm on a very cold 
day, we think it can only be from the glow "produced 
by the exercise of walking. This glow must naturally 
suoside in a few minutes, if they would sit down and 
wait with a little patience, or else avail themselves of 
the fan which ought to be at hand in every room. 
"We have known ladies of this warm temperament, who 
had sufficient consideration always to carry a pocket- 

50 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

fan in winter as well as summer. This is far better 
than to break out instantly with a complaint of the 
heat of the room, or to run and throw up a window- 
sash, or fling open the door, at the risk of giving cold 
to others. No intimacy can authorize these freedoms 
in a cold day, unless permission has first been asked, 
and sincerely granted. 

If you are perfectly certain that you have really 
the entree of your friend's room, and even if she has 
the same of yours, you have no right ever to extend 
that privilege to any other person who may chance to 
be with you when you go to see her. It is taking an 
unjustifiable liberty to intrude a stranger upon the 
privacy of her chamber. If another lady is with you, 
waive your privilege of entre'e for that time, take your 
companion into the parlour, and send up the names 
of both, and do not say, " Oh ! come up, come up — I 
am on no ceremony with her, and I am sure she will 
not mind you." And how can you be sure ? Perhaps 
in reality, she will mind her very much, and be 
greatly discomfited, though too polite to appear so. 

There are certain unoccupied females so over- 
friendly as to take the entree* of the whole house. 
These are, generally, ultra-neighbourly neighbours, 
who run in at all hours of the day and evening; 
ferret out the ladies of the family, wherever they may 
be — up-stairs or down; watch all their proceedings 
when engaged, like good housewives, in inspecting the 
attics, the store-rooms, the cellars, or the kitchens. 
Never for a moment do they seem to suppose that. 
their hourly visits may perhaps be inconvenient or 


unseasonable; or too selfish to abate their frequency, 
even when they suspect them to be so, these inveterate 
sociablists make their incursions at all avenues. If 
they find that the front-door is kept locked, they glide 
down the area-steps, and get in through the basement. 
Or else, they discover some back-entrance, by which 
they can slip in at "the postern-gate" — that is, alley- 
wise : — sociablists are not proud. At first, the socia- 
list will say, on making her third or fourth appear- 
ance for the day, "Who comes to see you oftener 
than I?" But after awhile even this faint shadow of 
an apology is omitted — or changed to "Nobody minds 
me." She is quite domesticated in your house — an 
absolute habitue. She sees all, hears all, knows all 
your concerns. Of course she does. Her talk to you 
is chiefly gossip, and therefore her talk about you is 
chiefly the same. She is au-fait of every thing con- 
cerning your table, for after she has had her dinner 
at her own home, she comes bolting into your dining- 
room and "sits by," and sees you eat yours. It is 
well if she does not begin with "a look in" upon you 
before breakfast. She finds out everybody that 
comes to your house; knows all your plans for going 
to this place or that; is well acquainted with every 
article that you wear ; is present at the visits of all 
your friends, and hears all their conversation. Hei 
own is usually "an infinite deal of nothing." 

A sociablist is commonly what is called good- 
natured, or else you would not endure her at all — and, 
you believe, for a time, that she really has an extra- 
ordinary liking for you. After awhile, you are unde- 

52 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

ceived. A coolness ensues, if not a quarrel, and yon 
are glad to find that she carries her sociability to 
another market, and that a new friend is now suffering 
all that you have experienced. To avoid the danger 
of being overwhelmed by the sociability of an idle 
neighbour, discourage the first indications of undue 
intimacy, by making your own visits rather few, and 
rather far between. A young lady of good sense, 
and of proper self-respect, will never be too lavish of 
her society; and if she has pleasant neighbours, will 
visit them always in moderation. And their friend- 
ship will last the longer. 



Fashion, in its various unmeaning freaks, sometimes 
decrees that it is not "stylish to introduce strangers." 
But this is a whim that, whenever attempted, has 
neither become general nor lasted long. It has seldom 
been adopted by persons of good sense and good 
manners — and very rarely by that fortunate class 
whose elevate'" 1 standing in society enables them to 
act as they please, in throwing aside the fetters of 
absurd conventionalities, and who can afford to do so. 

Non-introduction has been found, in many instances, 
to produce both inconvenience and vexation. Per- 
sons who had long known each other by reputation, 


and who would have rejoiced in an opportunity of 
becoming personally acquainted, have met in society, 
without being aware of it till afterward; and the 
opportunity has never recurred. One of our most 
distinguished literary Americans was seated at a dinner- 
party next to an European lady equally distinguished 
in literature; but as there were no introductions, he 
was not aware of her presence till the party was over 
and the lady gone. The lady knew who the gentle- 
man was, and would gladly have conversed with him ; 
but as he did not speak, because he was not intro- 
duced, she had not courage to commence — though she 
might have done so with perfect propriety, considering 
who he was, and who she was. 

Still worse — from not knowing who are present, 
you may inadvertently fall upon a subject of conversa- 
tion that, for private reasons, may be extremely irk- 
some or painful to some of the company ; for instance, 
in discussing a public character. Severe or mortifying 
remarks may unintentionally be made on the near 
relative, or on the intimate companion, of one whom 
you would on no account desire to offend. And in 
this way you may make enemies, where, under other 
circumstances, you would have made friends. In such 
cases, it is the duty of the hostess, or ^f any mutual 
acquaintance, immediately to introduce both parties, 
and thus prevent any further animadversions that, 
may be mal-a-propos, or in any way annoying. It is 
safest, when among strangers, to refrain &om bitter 
animadversions on anybody. 

In introducing a gentleman to a lady, address her 


first, as for instance — "Miss Smith, permit me to 
make you acquainted with Mr. Jones" — or, "Mrs. 
Farley, allow me to present Mr. Wilson" — that is, 
you must introduce the gentleman to the lady, rather 
than the lady to the gentleman. Also, if one lady is 
married and the other single, present the single lady 
to the matron, as — " Miss Thomson, let me introduce 
you to Mrs. Williams."* 

In introducing a foreigner, it is proper to present 
him as "Mr. Howard from England" — "Mr. Dupont 
from France" — "Mr. Wenzel from Germany." If 
you know of what European city he is a resident, it is 
better still, to say that he is "from London," — 
"Paris," — "Hamburg." Likewise, in introducing 
one of your own countrymen very recently returned 
from a distant part of the world, make him known as 
"Mr. Davis, just from China" — "Mr. Edwards, lately 
from Spain" — "Mr. Gordon, recently from South 
America." These slight specifications are easily 
made ; and they afford, at once, an opening for con- 
versation between the two strangers, as it will be 
perfectly natural to ask "the late arrived" something 
about the country he has last visited, or at least 
about his voyage. 

When presenting a member of Congress, mention 
the State to which he belongs, as, "Mr. Hunter of 
Virginia" — "Mr. Chase of Ohio," &c. Recollect that 
both senators and gentlemen of the house of repre- 

* It is well to present a lady or gentleman from another city, 
as "Miss Ford of New York" — "Mrs. Stephens of Boston" — 
" Mr. Warren of New Orleans." 


sentatives are members of Congress — Congress in- 
cluding the two legislative bodies. In introducing a 
governor, designate the state he governs — as, " Gover- 
nor Penington of New Jersey." For the chief 
magistrate of the republic, say simply — "The Presi- 

In introducing an officer, tell always to which ser- 
vice he belongs — as " Captain Turner of the Navy" — 
" Captain Anderson of the Army." 

We regret the custom of continuing to give military 
titles to militia officers. Foreigners are justly diverted 
at finding soi-disant generals and colonels among men 
who fill very subordinate stations in civil life — men 
that, however respectable in their characters, may be 
deficient in the appearance, manners, or education 
that should belong to a regular officer. This foolish 
practice can only be done away by the militia officers 
themselves (those that really are gentlemen — and 
there are many) magnanimously declining to be called 
generals, colonels, &c. except on parade occasions; 
and when actually engaged in militia duty. Let them 
omit these titles on their cards, and request that no 
letters be directed to them with such superscriptions ; 
and that in introductions or in conversation th>ey may 
be only addressed as plain Mr. It is still more absurd 
to continue these military titles long after they have 
ceased to hold the office, — and above all, to persist in 
them when travelling in fdreign countries, tacitly 
permitting it to be supposed that they own commissions 
in the regular service. 

English tourists (even when they know better) 

56 misb Leslie's behaviour book. 

make this practice a handle for pretending, in their 
books, that the officers of the American army are so 
badly paid, or so eager to make additional money, 
that they exercise all sorts of trades, and engage in 
the humblest occupations to help themselves along. 
They tell of seeing a captain stitching coats, a major 
making shoes, a colonel driving a stage, and a general 
selling butter in market — sneeringly representing them 
as regular officers of the United States army. Is it 
true that we republicans have such a hankering after 
titles? If so, "reform it altogether." And let one 
of the first steps be to omit the "Esq/' in directing a 
letter to an American citizen, for who. the title can 
have no meaning. In England it signifies the pos- 
sessor of an estate in the country, including the office 
of justice of peace. In America, it means a magis- 
trate only; who may live in a city, and own not an 
inch of ground anywhere. But why should all 
manner of men, of all trades, and professions, expect 
to see an "Esq." after their name, when with reference 
to them, it can have no rational application ? 

An introduction should always be given in a distinct 
and audible voice, so that the name may be clearly 
understood. The purpose is defeated, if it is mur- 
mured over in so low a tone as to be unintelligible 
And yet how often is this the case ; for what reason 
it is difficult to divine. It is usual for the introducee 
to repeat the name of the introduced. This will prove 
that it has really been heard. For instance, if Mrs. 
Smith presents Miss Brook to Miss Miles, Miss Miles 
immediately says, "Miss Brook" — or better still — 


"Miss Brook, I am glad to meet you," or something 
similar. Miss Miles then begins a talk. 

If you introduce yourself to a lady whom you wish 
to know, but who does not know you, address her by 
her name, express your desire to make her acquaint- 
ance, and then give her your card. Replying that it 
affords her pleasure to meet you, she will give you her 
hand, and commence a conversation, so as to put you 
quite at ease after your self-introduction. 

In introducing members of your own family, always 
mention, audibly, the name. It is not sufficient to 
say "my fatjtar," or "my mother" — "my son," 
"my daughfl^— "my brother," or "my sister." 
There may be more than one surname in the same 
family. But say, "my father, Mr. Warton," — "my 
daughter, Miss Wood" — or "my daughter-in-law, Mrs. 
Wood"— "my sister, Miss Mary Ramsay" — "my bro- 
ther, Mr. James Ramsay," &c. It is best in all these 
things to be explicit. The eldest daughter is usually 
introduced by her surname only — as " Miss Bradford" 
— her younger sisters, as." Miss Maria Bradford" — 
"Miss Harriet Bradford." 

In presenting a clergyman, put the word "Reve- 
rend" before his name — unless he is a bishop, and then, 
of course, the word "Bishop" suffices. The head of a 
college-department introduce as "Professor" — and it 
is to them only that the title properly belongs, 
though arrogated by all sorts of public exhibitors, 
mesmerists and jugglers included. 

Where the company is large, the ladies of the house 
should have tact enough to avoid introducing and 

58 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

placing together persons who cannot possibly assimi 
late, or take pleasure in each other's society. The 
dull, and the silly, will be far happier with their com- 
peers. To a woman of talent, and a good conversa- 
tionist, it is a cruelty to put her unnecessarily in 
contact with stupid, or unmeaning people. She is 
wasted and thrown away upon such as are neither 
amusing nor amusable. Neither is it well to bring 
together a gay, lively woman of the world, and a 
solemn, serious, repulsive dame, who is a contemner 
of the world and all its enjoyments. There can be no 
conversation that is mutually agreeable, between a 
real lady of true delicacy and refinement, and a so- 
called lady whose behaviour and talk are coarse and 
vulgar, — or between a woman of highly cultivated 
mind, and one who is grossly ignorant of every thing 
connected with books, and who boasts of that igno- 
rance. We have heard a lady of fashion say, " Thank 
God, I never read." The answer might well have 
have been, "You need not tell us that." 

In inviting but a small company, it is indispensable 
to the pleasure of all, that you ask none who are 
strikingly unsuitable to the rest — or whose presence 
will throw a damp on conversation. Especially avoid 
bringing into the same room, persons who are at 
notorious enmity with each other, even if, unhappily, 
they should be members of the same family. Those 
who are known as adversaries should be invited on 
different evenings. 

Avoid giving invitations to bores. They will come 


The word "bore" has an unpleasant and an inele- 
gant sound. Still, we have not, as yet, found any 
substitute that so well expresses the meaning, — which, 
we opine, is a dull, tiresome man, or "a weariful 
woman," either inveterately silent, or inordinately 
talkative, but never saying any thing worth hearing, 
or worth remembering — people whom you receive un- 
willingly, and whom you take leave of with joy; and 
who, not having perception enough to know that their 
visits are always unwelcome, are the most sociable 
visiters imaginable, and the longest stayers. 

In a conversation at Abbotsford, there chanced to 
be something said in reference to bores — those beings 
in whom "man delights not, nor woman neither." 
Sir "Walter Scott asserted, humourously, that bores 
were always "good respectable people." "Other- 
wise," said he "there could be no bores. For if they 
Were also scoundrels or brutes, we would keep no 
measures with them, but at once kick them out the 
house, and shut the door in their faces." 

When you wish an introduction to a stranger lady, 
apply to your hostess, or to some of the family, or to 
one of the guests that is acquainted with that lady: 
you will then be led up and presented to her. Do not 
expect the stranger to be brought to you; it is your 
place to go to her. 

If you are requested by a female friend to introduce 
her to a distinguished gentleman, a public character, 
be not so ungenerous as to go immediately and con- 
spicuously to inform him of the fact. But spare her 
delicacy, by deferring the ceremony for a while; and 

60 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

then take an opportunity of saying to him, "I shall 
be glad to make you acquainted with my friend Miss 
Morris. Come with me, and I will introduce you." 
When the introduction has thus taken place, you may 
with propriety leave them together to entertain each 
other for awhile; particularly if both parties are 
capable of doing so. And then, after a quarter of an 
hour's conversation, let the lady release the gentle- 
man from further attendance, by bowing to him, and 
turning to some other acquaintance who may not be 
far off. She can leave Mm much more easily than he 
can leave her, and it will be better to do so in proper 
time, than to detain him too long. It is generally in 
his power to return to her before the close of the 
evening, and if he is pleased with her society, he will 
probably make an opportunity of doing so. 

If he is what is called a lion, consideration for the 
rest of the company should admonish her not to 
monopolize him. But lions usually know how to get 
away adroitly. By-the-bye, she must not talk to him 
of his professional celebrity, or ask him at once for 
his autograph. 

We saw no less a person than Charles Dickens 
compelled, at a large party, to devote the whole even- 
ing to writing autographs for a multitude of young 
ladies— many of whom, not satisfied with obtaining 
one of his signatures for themselves, desired half a 
dozen others for " absent friends." All conversation 
ceased with the first requisition for an autograph 
He. had no chance of saying any thing. We were a 
**ttle ashamed of our fair townswomen , 


Should it fall to your lot to introduce any of the 
English nobility, take care (before hand) to irtform 
yourself exactly what their titles really are. Ameri- 
cans are liable to make sad blunders in these things. 
It may be well to know that a duke is the highest title 
of British nobility, and that his wife is a duchess. 
His eldest son is a marquis as long as his father lives, 
on whose demise the marquis becomes a duke. The 
wife of a marquis is a marchioness. There are a few 
marquises whose fathers were not dukes. The younger 
sons are termed Lord Henry, Lord Charles, Lord 
John, &c. The daughters Lady Caroline, Lady Au- 
gusta - , Lady Julia. The family name is generally 
quite different from the title. Thus, the name of the 
Duke of Richmond is Lenox — that of the Duke of 
Rutland, Manners. The family name of the Duke of 
Norfolk (who ranks first of the English nobility) is 
Howard. The present Duke of Northumberland's 
name is Algernon Percy. Arthur Wellesley was that 
of the great Duke of Wellington. His eldest son was 
Marquis of Douro, and his second son Lord Charles 
Wellesley. The children of a marquis are called Lord 
Frederick, or Lord Henry, and Lady Louisa, or Lady 

The next title is viscount, as Viscount Palmerston. 
The next is earl, whose wife is a countess, and the 
children may be Lord Georges and Lady Marys. 

After the viscounts come the barons, whose chil- 
dren are denominated the Honourable Miss, or Mr. 
John Singleton Copley, (whose father was Copley, 
the celebrated American painter,) is now Baron 

62 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

Lyndhurst. His eldest daughter is the Hon. Miss 
Copley. In common parlance, barons are always 
termed lords. Some few have two titles — as Lord Say 
and Sele — Lord Brougham and Vaux. After William 
the Fourth had suddenly dissolved the parliament that 
held out so long against passing the reform bill, and 
the king, appointing a new cabinet, had placed Lord 
Brougham at the head of the ministry, a ridiculous 
comic song came out at one of the minor theatres, 
implying that now his majesty has swept out the whole 
parliament, "he takes up his broom and valks," 
(Brougham and Vaux.) 

When the widow of a nobleman marries a man who 
has no title, she always retains hers. Thus when the 
widow of the Earl of Mansfield married Colonel Gre- 
ville, (a nephew of the Earl of Warwick,) — on their 
door-plate the names were — "The Countess Dowager 
of Mansfield, and the Hon. Colonel Greville," — a 
rather long inscription. A nobleman's daughter 
marrying a commoner, retains her original title of 
Lady, but takes his surname — thus, Lady Charlotte 
Campbell, whose father was Duke of Argyle, became, 
on her marriage with Dr. Bury, a clergyman, Lady 
Charlotte Bury. It will be understood that if a 
nobleman's daughter marries a nobleman, her title 
merges in his — but if she marries a commoner, she 
retains what title she had originally — her husband, of 
course, obtaining no rank by his marriage. 

The title of a baronet is Sir — as Sir Francis Bur- 
dett. Sir Walter Scott. His children are Mr. and 
Miss, without any "Hon." affixed to their names. 


Baronets are a grade below barons, but the title is 
hereditary, descending to the eldest son or next male 
heir. In directing to a baronet, put "Bart." after his 
name. A knight is also called Sir, as Sir Thomas 
Lawrence, Sir Edwin Landseer, &c. ; but his title being 
only for life, dies with him.* It is always conferred 
by the sovereign touching his shoulder with a sword, 
and saying, for instance, "Rise up, Sir Francis Chan- 
try." In writing to a knight, put "Knt." The wives 
of both baronets and knights are called Lady. The 
wife of Sir John Franklin (who was knighted) is Lady 
Franklin — not Lady Jane Franklin, as has been erro- 
neously supposed. She could not be Lady Jane unless 
her father was. a nobleman. 

A nobleman always signs his title only, without 
designating his exact rank — the Duke of Athol signing 
himself "Athol"— the Duke of Bedford, "Bedford" 
— the Marquis of Granby, "Granby" — the Earl of 
Chesterfield, "Chesterfield," &c. The wives of peers 
give their Christian name with their title — as Isa- 
bella Buccleuch — Margaret Northampton — Elizabeth 
Derby, &c. 

The English bishops are addressed in letters as the 
Lord Bishop of Rochester, the Lord Bishop of Bath 
and Wells. The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is 
Primate of England, — (Head of the English Church,) 
is called His Grace, or Your Grace. The bishops 
are all (by virtue of their office) members of the 

* Distinguished men of all professions, doctors, lawyers, artists, 
authors, and officers of the army and navy, frequently receive the 
honour of knighthood. 

64 miss Leslie's behxviour book. 

House of Peers or Lords. They sign their Christian 
name with the title of their bishopric, as John Durham 
— William Oxford. 

All full noblemen have an hereditary seat in the 
House of Peers, which they take on attaining the age 
of twenty-one, and it continues while they live. 
Their younger sons, the Lord Johns and Lord Frede- 
ricks, can only have a seat in the House of Commons, 
and to that they must be elected, like the other mem- 
bers. Baronets, not being peers, must also be elected 
as commons. 

Americans going to England would do well to look 
over a book of the British Peerage, so as to save 
themselves from making blunders, which are much 
ridiculed in a country where little allowance is made 
for republican habits and for republican ignorance of 
what appertains to monarchical institutions.* It 
would not be amiss even to know that a full coat of 
arms, including shield, supporters, crest, and scroll 
with a motto, belongs only to the chief of a noble 
family; and that the younger branches are entitled 
only to the crest, which is the head of the same animal 
that stands erect on each side of the shield as if to sup- 
port it, such as stags, foxes, bears, vultures, &c. A 
baronet has a shield only, with a bloody or wounded 
hand over the top. 

Our countrymen abroad sometimes excite ill-con- 
cealed mirth, by the lavish use they make of titles 
when they chance to find themselves among the no- 

* It would be well if all the public offices at Washington were 
furnished with copies of the British Peerage. Perhaps they are. 


bility. They should learn that none but servants or 
people of the" lower classes make constant use of the 
terms "my lord," and "my lady" — "your lordship," 
or "your ladyship" — "your grace," &c, in conversing 
with persons of rank. Formerly it was the custom, 
but it is long since obsolete, except, as we have 
said, from domestics or dependants. Address them 
simply as Lord Derby, or Lord Dunmore — Lady 
Wilton, Lady Mornington, &c. 



When three ladies are walking together, it is better 
for one to keep a little in advance of the other two, 
than for all three to persist in maintaining one un- 
broken line. They cannot all join in conversation 
without talking across each other — a thing that, in-doors 
or out-of-doors, is awkward, inconvenient, ungenteel, 
and should always be avoided. Also, three ladies 
walking abreast occupy too much of the pavement, 
and therefore incommode the other passengers. Three 
young men sometimes lounge along the pavement, arm 
in arm. Three young gentlemen never do so. 

If you meet a lady with whom you have become 
but slightly acquainted, and had merely a little conver- 
sation, (for instance, at a party or a morning visit,) and 
who moves in a circle somewhat higher or moro 

ti6 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

fashionable than your own, it is safest to wait till she 
recognises you. Let her not sec in you a disposition 
to obtrude yourself on her notice. 

It is not expected that all intimacies formed at 
watering-places shall continue after the parties have 
returned to their homes. A mutual bow when meeting 
in the street is sufficient. But there is no inter- 
changing of visits, unless both ladies have, before 
parting, testified a desire to continue the acquaintance. 
In this case, the lady who is eldest, or palpably 
highest in station, makes the first call. It is not 
customary for a young lady to make the first visit to a 
married lady. 

When meeting them in the street, always speak first 
to your milliner, mantua-maker, seamstress, or to any 
one you have been in the practice of employing. To 
pass without notice any servant that you know, is 
rude and unfeeling, as they will attribute it to pride, 
not presuming to speak to you themselves, unless in 
reply. There are persons who having accepted, when 
in the country, much kindness from the'country-people, 
are ashamed to recognise them when they come to 
town, on account of their rustic or unfashionable 
dress. This is a very vulgar, contemptible, and 
foolish pride; and is always seen through, and de- 
spised. There is no danger of plain country-people 
being mistaken for vulgar city-people. In our coun- 
try, there is no reason for keeping aloof from any 
who are respectable in character and appearance. 
Those to be avoided are such as wear tawdry finery, 
paint their faces, and leer out of the corners of their 


eyes, looking disreputably, even if they are not disre- 
putable in reality. 

When a gentleman meets a lady with whom his 
acquaintance is very slight, (perhaps nothing more 
than a few words of talk at a party,) he allows her the 
option of continuing the acquaintance or not, at her' 
pleasure ; therefore, he waits till she recognises him, 
and till she evinces it by a bow, — he looking at her to 
give the opportunity. Thus, if she has no objection 
to numbering him among her acquaintances, she de- 
notes it by bowing first. American ladies never 
curtsey in the street. If she has any reason to dis- & 
approve of his character or habits, she is perfectly ■ 
justifiable in "cutting" him, as it is termed. Let her 
bow very coldly the first time, and after that, not at 

Young ladies should yield the wall to old ladies. 
Gentlemen do so to all ladies. 

In some cities it is .the custom for all gentlemen to 
give their arm to all ladies, when walking with them. 
In others, a gentleman's arm is neither offered nor ~, 
taken, unless in the evening, on slippery pavements, 
or when the streets are very muddy. A lady only 
takes the arm of her husband, her affianced lover, or 
of her male relatives. In the countryAhe custom is 
different. There, a gentleman, when walking with 
a lady, always gives her his arm ; and is much 
offended when, on offering his arm, the lady refuses 
to take it. Still, if it is contrary to the custom of 
her place, she can explain it to him delicately, and he 

will at once see the propriety of her declining. 

G8 mips Leslie's behavioub book. 

When a lady is walking between two gentlemen, 
she should divide her conversation as equally us prac- 
ticable, or address most of it to him who is most of a 
stranger to her. He, with whom she is least on 
ceremony, will excuse her. 

A gentleman on escorting a lady to her own home, 
must not leave her till he has rung the bell, and 
waited till the servant has come and opened the door, 
and till she is actually in the house. Men who know 
no better, think it sufficient to walk with her to the 
foot of the steps and there take their departure, 
leaving her to get in as she can. This we have seen — 
but not often, and the offenders were not Americans. 

If you stop a few minutes in the street to talk to an 
acquaintance, draw to one side of the pavement near 
the wall, so as not to impede the passengers — or you 
may turn and walk with her as far as the next corner. 
And never stop to talk in the middle of a crossing. 
To speak loudly in the street is exceedingly ungenteel, 
and foolish, as what you say will be heard by all who 
pass by. To call across the way to an acquaintance, 
is very unlady-like. It is best to hasten over, and 
speak to her, if you have any thing of importance to 

When a stranger offers to assist you across a 
brimming gutter, or over a puddle, or a glair of 
slippery ice, do not hesitate, or decline, as if you 
thought he was taking an unwarrantable liberty. He 
means nothing but civility. So accept it frankly, and 
thank him for it. 

When you see persons slip down on the ice, do not 


laugh at them. There is no fun in being hurt, yg in 
being mortified by a fall in the public street; and we 
know not how a lady can see any thing diverting in 
so painful a circumstance. It is more feminine, on 
witnessing such a sight, to utter an involuntary scream 
than a shout of laughter. And still more so, to stop 
and ascertain if the person that fell has been hurt. 

If, on stopping an omnibus, you find that a dozen 
people are already seated in it, draw back, and refuse 
to add to the number ; giving no heed to the assertion 
of the driver, that "there is plenty of room." The 
passengers will not say so, and you have no right to 
crowd them all, even if you are willing to be crowded 
yourself — a thing that is extremely uncomfortable, and 
very injurious to your dress, which may, in conse- 
quence, be so squeezed and rumpled as never to look 
well again. None of the omnibuses are large enough 
to accommodate even twelve grown people comfortably; 
and that number is the utmost the law permits. A 
child occupies more than half the space of a grown 
person, yet children are brought into omnibuses ad 
libitum. Ten grown persons are as many as can be 
really well seated in an omnibus — twelve are too 
many; and a lady will always regret making the 
thirteenth — and her want of consideration in doing so 
will cause her to be regarded with unfavourable eyes 
by the other passengers. It is better for her to go 
into a shop, and wait for the next omnibus, or even to 
walk home, unless it is actually raining. 

Have your Sixpence ready in your fingers a few 
minutes before you are to get out; and you may 


rermest any gentleman near you to hand it up to the 
driver. So many accidents have happened from the 
driver setting off before a lady was entirely out of the 
vehicle and safely landed in the street, that it is well 
to desire the gentleman not to hand up the sixpence 
till after you are fairly clear of the steps. 

"When expecting to ride in an omnibus, take care to 
have sufficient small change in your purse — that is, 
sixpences. We have seen, when a quarter-dollar has 
been handed up, and the driver was handing down the 
change, that it has fallen, and been scattered among 
the straw. There was no stopping to search for it, 
and therefore the ride cost twenty-five cents instead 
of six: the driver, of course, finding the change him- 
self, as soon as he got rid of all his passengers. 

It is most imprudent to ride in an omnibus with 
much money in your purse. Pickpockets of genteel 
appearance are too frequently among the passengers. 
"We know a gentleman who in this way lost a pocket- 
book containing eighty dollars; and various ladies 
have had their purses taken from them, by well- 
dressed passengers. If you are obliged to have money 
of any consequence about you, keep your hand all the 
time in that pocket. 

If the driver allows a drunken man to come into an 
omnibus, the ladies will best to get out; at 
least those whose seats are near his. It is, however, 
the duty of the gentlemen to insist on such fellows 
being refused admittance where there are ladies. 

No lady should venture to ride in an omnibus after 
dark, unless she is escorted by a gentleman whom she 


knows. She had better walk home, even underlie 
protection of a servant. If alone in an omnibus at 
night, she is liable to meet with improper company, 
and perhaps be insulted. 



When you go out shopping, it is well to take with 
you some written cards, inscribed with your residence 
as well as your name. For this purpose to use en- 
graved visiting-cards is an unnecessary expense. That 
there may be no mistake, let your shopping-cards con- 
tain not only your street and number, but the side of 
the way, and between what streets your house is situ- 
ated. This minuteness is particularly useful in Phila- 
delphia, where the plan and aspect of the streets is so 
similar. Much inconvenience, disappointment, and 
delay have resulted from parcels being left at wrong 
places. If you are staying at a hotel, give also the 
number of your chamber, otherwise the package may 
be carried in mistake to the apartment of some other 
lady ; the servants always knowing the number of the 
rooms, but not always remembering the names of the 
occupants ; usually speaking of the ladies and gentle- 
men as No. 25, No. 42, &c. 

There is another advantage in having cards with 
you when you go out shopping : if you should chance 

72 .miss Leslie's behaviour look. 

to %rget your reticule, or handkerchief, and leave it 
on the counter, the shopkeeper will know exactly 
by the card where to send it, or for whom to keep 
it till called for. 

If you intend to purchase none but small articles, 
take but little money in your purse, so that if you 
chance to lose it, the loss may not be great.* When 
you buy articles of any consequence, they will always 
be sent home at your request — and (unless you keep 
a standing account at that store) desire the bill to be 
sent along ; and sent at an hour when you will cer- 
tainly be at hand to pay it. Be careful to take re- 
ceipts for the payment; and keep the receipts on a 
file or wire. We have known instances when, from 
the clerk or storekeeper neglecting or delaying to 
cross out an account as soon as paid, the same bill 
was inadvertently sent twice over ; and then by having 
the receipt to show, the necessity of paying it twice 
over was obviated. Look carefully at every item of 
the bill, and see that all is correct. Sometimes 
(though these oversights are of rare occurrence) the 
same article may accidentally be set down twice in 
the same bill. But this is easily rectified by taking 
the bill to the storekeeper, and showing it to him 

In subscribing for a magazine or newspaper, and 
paying in advance, (as you always should,) be especially 
careful of the receipts given to you at paying. So 
many persons are in the habit of allowing these 

* When circumstances render it expedient to carry much money 
out with you, divide it; putting half in one purse or pocket-book. 
and half in another, and put these portions into two pockets. 


accounts to run on for years, that if you neglect 
preserving your receipts, and cannot produce them 
afterward, you may be unintentionally classed among 
the delinquents, and have no means of proving satis- 
factorily that you have really paid. 

Many ladies keep a day-book, in which they set 
«lown, regularly, all the money they have expended 
on that day ; adding up the whole every week. An 
excellent plan, and of great importance to every one 
who is mistress of a family. 

In making purchases for other persons, have bills 
made out; and send the bills (receipted) with 'the 
articles purchased, as an evidence of the exact price 
of the things, and that they were paid for punctually. 
The friends that have commissioned you to buy them, 
should immediately repay you. Much inconvenience 
may be felt by a lady whose command of money is 
small, when a friend living in a distant place, and 
probably in opulent circumstances, neglects or post- 
pones the payment of these sums. She should, at the 
beginning, send money amply sufficient to make these 
purchases. It is enough that you take the trouble of 
going to the stores, selecting the desired articles, and 
having them packed and sent off. She has no right to 
put you to the slightest pecuniary inconvenience. 
There have been instances, where articles thus bought 
for a lady in a far-off place, have not been paid for by 
that lady till after the lapse of many months. For 
such remissness there is no excuse. To go shopping 
for a friend is rarely a pleasant business. Besides its 
encroaching on yom time, there is always a danger of 

74 miss Leslie's bbhavioub book. 

the purchases proving unsatisfactory, or not suiting the 
taste of her for whom they are intended. Also, circum- 
stances may prevent the articles reaching her as soon 
as expected. Whenever practicable, it is best to send 
all such packages by the Transportation Line — that 
charge to be paid by the owner, on delivery. 

It is not well to trouble a gentleman with the care 
of a parcel, unless it is quite small, and he has to pass 
the door of the house at which it is to be delivered ; or 
unless his residence is in the immediate neighbourhood. 

When visiting the shops, if you do not intend to 
buy at that time, but are merely looking round to see 
varieties of articles before you determine on what to 
purchase, candidly say so to the persons standing at 
the counter. They will (particularly if they know 
you) be perfectly willing to show you such things as 
you desire to see, in thje hope that you may return to 
their store and buy of them afterward. At the same 
time, avoid giving unnecessary trouble; and do not, 
from mere curiosity, desire such things to be brought 
to you as you have no intention of buying at all. 

The practice that is called cheapening, or beating 
down the price, is now nearly obsolete. Most trades- 
men have a fixed price for every thing, and will not 

It is but rarely that you will meet with articles of 
really good quality on very low terms, unless near the 
close of the season, when the storekeepers, anxious to 
get rid of their old stock, generally put down the 
prices of the goods that arc left on hand; knowing 
that by the return of next season, these will be super- 


Reded by things of a newer fashion. Economical 
ladies, who are not resolutely determined on wearing 
none but articles of the very latest fashion, may thus 
supply themselves with excellent silks, lawns, &c. in 
August and September, at prices far below what they 
would have given in May or June. And then they 
can lay them by till next summer. Li the same way 
they can purchase merinoes, mousselines de laine, &c. 
in January, February, and March, much lower than in 
November and December. It is best always to buy 
rather too much than too little ; and to have a piece 
left, rather than to get a scanty pattern, such as will 
barely hold out, leaving nothing for repairs or altera- 
tions. There is much advantage in getting an extra 
yard and a half, or two yards, and keeping it back for 
new sleeves. Unless you are small and slender, it is 
not well to buy a dress embroidered with a border 
pattern. They are always scanty in width, and have 
that look when made up. The skirts are never quite 
wide enough. A tall woman requires as full a skirt 
as a fat one ; else her height will make her look lanky 
and narrow. 

When bespeaking an article to be made purposely 
for you, ascertain from the maker what will be the 
cost, and then request him to write down the terms on 
a card, or a slip of paper, or on a leaf of your tablet. 
If he says he cannot tell how much it will be, or that 
he knows not what price to fix on it, or that he cannot 
decide till after it is finished, it will be safest and 
wisest for you to decline engaging it, till he has calcu- 
lated the amount, or something very near it. Persist 


in this condition being a sine qua non. It is his 
place to know every thing connected with his busi 
and to be able to judge of his outlay, and his profits. 
If you do not insist on a satisfactory answer when 
making the bargain, you may in the end find yourself 
greatly overcharged, (as we know by experience;) the 
price in the bill, after the article is made, and sent 
home, proving infinitely higher than you would have 
been willing to give if previously aware of it. In 
dealing with foreigners whose language is not yours, 
take especial care that there is a correct understand- 
ing on both sides. 

When on a visit to a city with which you are not 
familiar, enquire where the best shops are to be found, 
and make memorandums of them in your tablets. 
This will spare your friends the trouble of accompany- 
ing you on your shopping expeditions. And if you 
have a small pocket-map of the town, there will be no 
danger of losing your way. Except to ladies whose 
chief delight is in seeing things connected with dress, 
to go shopping with a stranger is usually very tire- 
some. Also, the stranger will feel less constraint by 
going alone; and more at liberty to be guided by her 
own taste in selecting, and to consult her pecuniary 
convenience in regard to the price. It is only when 
you feel that you have reason for distrusting your own 
judgment, as to the quality and gentility of the arti- 
cles, that it is well to be accompanied by a person of 
more experience. And then you will, most probably, 
be unwilling to fatigue her by going to as many shops 
as you would like to visit. In most cases, it is best 

shoppie ;;, 77 

to go shopping without any companion, except, per- 
haps, a member of your immediate family. Gentle- 
men consider it a very irksome task to go on shopping 
expeditions, and their ill-concealed impatience becomes 
equally irksome to you. 

If you have given the salesman or saleswoman 
unusual trouble in showing you articles which you 
find not to suit, make some compensation, by at least 
one or two small purchases before leaving the store ; 
for instance, linen to lay by as a body-lining for a 
future dress, gloves, mits, a neck-ribbon, cotton spools, 
pins, needles, tape, black sewing-silk, &c, — things 
that will always come into use. 

Remember that in all American stores, the rule of 
"first come, first served," is rigidly observed. There- 
fore, testify no impatience if a servant-girl, making a 
sixpenny purchase, is served before you — which she 
certainly w T ill be, if her entrance has preceded yours. 

There are still some ladies who think that one of 
the great arts of shopping, is to disparage the articles 
shown to them, to exclaim at the price, and to assert 
that at other places they can get exactly such things 
infinitely lower. When shopping, (as well as under 
all other circumstances,) it is best to adhere to the 
truth. ' If you really like the article, why not gratify 
the salesman by saying so. If you know that the 
price is in conformity to the usual rate, you need not 
attempt to get it lower, for you will seldom succeed — 
unless, indeed, on that day the tradesman is particu- 
larly anxious to sell, having a sum of money to make 
up, and being somewhat at a loss. Perhaps then, he 


may abate something; but if he docs not himself 
propose the abatement, and if he is largely in business, 
and sure of plenty of custom, there will be little use 
in your urging it. 

If you are a stranger in the city, (Philadelphia for 
instance,) do not always be exclaiming at the prices, 
and declaring that you can buy the same articles 
much lower and much handsomer in New York, 
Boston, or Baltimore. For certain reasons, prices 
are different in different places. If an article is 
shown to you in Philadelphia as "something quite 
new," refrain from saying that it has been out of 
fashion these two years in New York. This may 
injure its sale with bystanders, chancing to hear you. 
You need only say "that it is very pretty, but you do 
not want it now." 

It is strange, but no less strange than true, that 
though the distance between New York and Phila- 
delphia is reduced to less than half a day's travel, it 
ta,kes a year or more, for the New York fashions to 
get to Philadelphia, and many of them never arrive 
at all. There are certain dress-makers and milliners 
in the latter city, who, if you show them any thing 
quite fresh from New York, will habitually reply, 
" Oh ! we made that, here in Philadelphia, a year or 
two ago." You need not believe them. Our Ameri- 
can ladies derive all their ideas of costume from 
Prance; and as New York rejoices in the 
extensive and the most speedy intercourse with that 
land of taste and elegance, the French fashions alwaj a 
get there first. The wonder is that so long a time 


elapses before they prevail in the other cities. We 
must say, however, that whatever is fantastic and 
extreme, is generally modified and softened down in 
Philadelphia. In provincial towns, and in remote 
new settlements, we often see a disposition to carry to 
the utmost a fashion already too showy or gaudy. 

When you see on another lady a new article of 
dress that you admire, it is not ill-manners, (but 
rather the contrary,) to tell her so. But unless you 
really desire to get one exactly like it for yourself, 
and are sincerely asking for information, it is con- 
sidered very rude to enquire where she bought it, and 
what was the cost. And it is peculiarly vulgar to 
preface the enquiry by the foolish words — "If it is a 
fair question." The very doubt proves that you know 
the question to be a very unfair one. And so it is. 
We have never known that expression used except to 
introduce something rude and improper. Any lady 
who is asked an impertinent question, would be 
perfectly justifiable in saying, "Excuse me from 
answering" — and then immediately changing the con- 
versation. Yet there are ladies who are always cate- 
chising others about their dress. You are not bound 
to give explicit answers to these, or any other ques- 
tions concerning your personal affairs. Much mis- 
chief accrues in society, from some ladies being too 
inquisitive, and others too communicative. 

It is really a great fatigue, both of body and mind, 
to go shopping with a very close economist, particu- 
larly if you know that she can well afford a sufficiently 
liberal expenditure. The length of time she wi^ 


ponder over every thing before she can "make up her 
mind;" the ever-besetting fear that she may possibly 
have to give a few cents more in one store than in 
another ; her long deliberation as to whether a smaller 
than the usual quantity may not be "made to do;" her 
predilection for bargain-seeking in streets far off, and 
ungenteel; the immense trouble she gives to the 
persons behind the counter, — all will induce you to 
forswear trying a second time the experiment of 
attending on the progress of a shopper who sets out 
with the vain expectation of obtaining good articles at 
paltry prices. 

In what are called "cheap shops," you will rarely 
find more than two or three things that are really 
cheap. If of bad quality, they are not cheap, but 
dear. Low-priced ribbons, for instance, are generally 
flimsy, tawdry, of ugly figures, and vulgar colours, — ■ 
soon fading, and soon "getting into a string." Yet 
there are ladies who will walk two miles to hustle in 
the crowd they find squeezing toward the counter of 
the last new emporium of cheap ribbons ; and, while 
waiting their turn, have nothing to look at around 
them but lots of trash, that if they bought they would 
be ashamed to wear. Coarse finery is trumpery. 

On the other hand, for ladies of small means, it is 
not indispensable to their standing in society, that 
they should deal only at stores noted for selling higher 
than the usual price. It is a very poor boast ; particu- 
larly when they cannot afford it. 

Whatever may be the caprices* of fashion, a lady of 
good taste (and we may add, good sense,) will not, in 


buying dresses, select those of large figures, and high 
glaring colours. There is something peculiarly un- 
uenteel and ungraceful in a white ground with large 
red flowers and green leaves wandering over it. Even 
if the fabric is brocade, it has a look of calico. Red 
and green is only beautiful in real flowers. In a lady's 
dress, it somehow looks unlady-like. A great variety 
of bright colours is only suited to a carpet. For a 
dress, two are quite sufficient. And then if one is 
blue, pink, scarlet, or orange, let it be contrasted 
with brown, gray, olive, or some chaste and quiet tint 
that will set it off. Few silks are more becoming 
than those in which the figure is formed by a darker 
shade of the same colour as the ground. Silks of one 
colour only, trim the best — variegated trimming looks 
confused and ineffective. No colours are more ungen- 
teel, or in worse taste, than reddish lilacs, reddish 
purples, and reddish browns. The original tint of 
aronetta, or anatto, is the contempt of ladies ; but b v 
previously washing the article in strong, warm pot-ash 
water, before it is put into the solution of aronetta, 
you will obtain a beautiful bird-of-paradise colour, 
entirely free from all appearance of the unpopular 

Buy * no silk that is stiff and hard, however thick 
and heavy it may seem. It will crack and split, and 
wear worse than a soft silk that appears much thinner. 
Venture on no satin that is not of excellent quality 
A thin satin frays and ravels, and is not worth making 
up. For common wear, a soft, thick India silk is 
generally excellent. We have never seen a goo J *** 


for less than a dollar a yard. The figured ur em- 
bossed India silks are not worth buying, — wearing 
rough and fuzzy, and fraying all over. For a service- 
able, long-lasting home dress, there is nothing equal 
to a very thick, soft, double-width India black satin, 
such as is called two yards wide, and sells at two 
dollars a yard. But they have become very scarce. 
Never use satin to cover cord. It ravels too much. 
Velvet and satin should be corded with substantial 
silk. If you cannot match the exact shade, let it be 
darker rather than lighter. A belt-ribbon should 
always be darker than the dress. Cord merino with 
itself. A cording of silk will not wash. 

If you cannot get lace that is tolerably fine, wear 
none at all, rather than have it coarse. We have 
seen lace called Brussels, so coarse that it looked as 
if made of cotton, though in truth it was of thread. 
There was no real beauty in it. Genuine Brussels 
lace is exquisitely fine. 

Large showy ornaments, by way of jewellery, are 
exceedingly ungenteel. They always tell their own 
story, of glass stones set in gilding, not gold. If you 
cannot obtain real jewels, never attempt sham ones. 
It requires no practised eye to detect them — particu- 
larly false diamonds. 

Do not interfere with the shopping of other custom- 
ers, (who may chance to stand near you at the counter,) 
by either praising or deprecating any of the articles 
they are looking at. Leave them to the exercise of 
their own judgment; unless they ask your opinion. 
And then give it in a low voice, and sincerely. 

snoppi: S3 

.If you meet an acquaintance unexpectedly m a 
Etore, it is not well to engage in a long conversation 
with her, and thus detain persons behind the counter 
from waiting on other customers. Finish your pur- 
chase-making first, and then you will have leisure to 
step aside and converse. A store is not the, rlace for 
social intercourse, and you may chance to say some- 
thing there, that bystanders should not hear. " Greet- 
ings in the market-place" should always be short. 

It is not admissible to try on kid gloves in a store. 
After buying a pair, ask for the glove-stretcher, (which 
they keep in all good shops, for the convenience of 
customers,) and then stretch the gloves upon it, unless 
you have a glove-stretcher at home. This will render 
them easy to put on when you take them into wear. 
Glove-stretchers are to be bought at the variety 
stores ; or ought to be. They will save many a new 
glove from tearing. 

In buying stockings, whether silk or cotton, you 
will find it cheapest in the end, to get those of the 
best English manufacture, particularly those of fine 
quality. For winter, and to wear with boots, English 
stockings of unbleached cotton are very comfortable, 
feeling warmer than those that are perfectly white. 
It is to be lamented that all black stockings (even of 
silk) are painful and injurious to the feet, the copperas 
dye being poisonous. 

In buying black mits, see that they are really of 

silk, otherwise they will stain your hands, and look 

brown and foxy. Much cotton is now substituted for 

silk; a way having been discovered of carding silk 



itim cotton together, before the thread la spun, i 

nlso, is shamefully adulterated with cotton, and it.ia 
iifficult for purchasers to discover the cheat before 
the article is washed. Linen is frequently injured in 
che piece by bad bleaching-salts ; so that after the 
first washing, it drops into holes, such as are caused 
by vitriol. Of this we have had sad experience in 
several instances, when the linen was supposed to be 
of the best quality. 

Always object to a parcel being put up in newspa- 
per — as the printing-ink will rub off, and soil the 
article inclosed. If it is a little thing that you are 
going to take home in your own hand, it will smear 
your gloves. All shopkeepers in good business can 
afford to buy proper wrapping-paper, and they gene- 
rally do so. It is very cheap. See also that they do 
not wrap your purchase in so small a bit of paper as 
to squeeze and crush it. 

If you go out with much money, (which is never 
advisable,) divide it into two portions, putting part in 
your pocket-book or porte-monnaie, and the remainder 
into your purse, so that if you lose it, or have your 
pocket picked, the loss may be less. Do not carry 
notes in your purse, but keep them in your pocket- 
book. Little gold dollars had best go into your porte- 
monnaie. If kept in your purse with small change, 
you will be very likely to lose them, or to mistake 
them for three-cent pieces if the light is bad. 

Once, on embarking in a New York steamboat, wo 
saw a gentleman having bought a penny paper, give 
the news-boy a gold eagle in mistake for a cent. The 


gentleman was instantly apprized of his error by ^ 
bystander, who had seen it; but the boy had air 
sprung upon the wharf and was lost in the crowd. 

"We knew an instance of a lady in New York giving 
a hundred-dollar note to a strawberry woman, rnstead 
of a note of one dollar. Neither note nor woman 
were seen or heard of more. 

In getting change see that three-cent pieces are not 
given to you for five cents. 

And now a few words to saleswomen. They have 
always, when commencing that vocation, two important 
qualities to cultivate (exclusive of cleverness in busi- 
ness) — civility, and patience. In these two requisites, 
few of our American young women are deficient. Let 
them also learn activity in moving, and quickness in 
recollecting where all the articles called for are to be 
found, so as not to keep the customers waiting too 
long, while they, the sellers, are searching the shelves 
and boxes. Also, if a lady wishes to match some- 
thing, (for instance, a piece of silk,) it is foolish and 
useless to bring her a piece that is not exactly like : 
trying to persuade her to take it, and calling it " as 
good a match as she is likely to get." Of course she 
will not take a piece that is only tolerably like, but 
not quite the same ; for unless it matches exactly, it 
is no match at all. If a customer enquires for light 
blue ribbon it is absurd to bring her dark blue, saying 
"we have no light blue" — or to say "we have no 
pink, but we have scarlet — we have no lilac, but we 
have purple." Or still worse, to try to persuade the 
customer that deep crimson is a beautiful shade of 


scarlet; or worse than all, tint those very unbecoming 
tints, called improperly rose-white and pearl-white, 

really a pure dead -white; when you know very well 
that they are no such thing. Both white and black 
are very difficult to match precisely. 

Let the yard-measure be visible to the customers. 
In some shops the measure is at the back of the 
counter, hidden behind a glass case. This practice 
of measuring out of sight, sometimes gives rise to a 
suspicion that the measure is not true, as it is so easy 
to deceive where the brass nails that mark it are con 
coaled from view of the customers. 

Every female who keeps, or attends in a store, 
should discourage the visits of her friends at business- 
hours. If she looks off to chat with her shop-visiters, 
she cannot attend properly to her customers; and 
those visiters may be inconsiderate and obtrusive 
enough to interfere, by putting in their word, and 
praising the beauty or cheapness of the articles, by 
way of promoting the interest of the seller, which it 
ultimately will not. 

Show as much civility and attention to a customer 
plainly dressed, and walking on foot, or getting out 
of an omnibus, as you would to a lady elegantly 
attired, and coming in her own carriage. The former 
may prove the most profitable customer. Be careful 
to exhibit no temper, even if you have had the trouble 
of showing a variety of goods to one who goes away 
without buying any thing. Another time, perhaps, 
she may come and make large purchases : but if you 
offend her, she will assuredly never enter the storo 


again. Recollect that no one feels under the least 
compulsion to buy What does not suit them. You 
would not yourself. Habitual courtesy is a valuable 
qualification, and always turns to good account. 



It would be well in all places of public amusement, 
if there could be an apartment appropriated to the 
ladies, in which they might deposit their cloaks, hoods, 
&c. in charge of a responsible attendant ; her care to 
be rewarded by a small gratuity. Ladies would then 
be under no necessity of carrying warm outer-gar- 
ments into a crowded and heated room; or of wearing 
their bonnets, and thereby intercepting the view of 
persons seated behind them; always a grievance 
where the benches are not sufficiently elevated, or 
where there is no difference at all in their respective 
elevation, as is sometimes the case. Also, the appear- 
ance of the female part of the company is always 
more elegant, when wearing bandeaus, caps, or other 
light head-dresses ; young persons requiring their hair 
only, or the slight decoration of a flower or a ribbon. 
It is very painful and fatiguing to be for several hours 
continually dodging your head from side to side, and 
stretching your neck this way and that, and peeping 
wherever you can obtain a tantalizing glimpse between 


tho bonnets of ladies seated immediately before you. 
This, in addition to the annoyance of being squeezed 
on a bench that is over-full, is enough to destroy 
nearly all the pleasure of the exhibition ; and to make 
a large portion of the audience regret that they came. 

If you wish to secure a good seat, go early. It is 
better to sit there an hour before the commencement 
of the performance, than t© arrive after it has begun. 
The time of waiting will soon pass away, in conversa- 
tion with the friends whom you have accompanied. 

When invited to join a party to a place of amuse- 
ment, begin to prepare in ample time; so as not to 
keep them waiting for you. "When a large party is 
going to a place of amusement, (for instance, the 
theatre, or opera,) it is better that each family should 
go thither from their own home, (being provided with 
their own tickets,) than that they should all rendezvous 
at the house of one of the company; at the risk of 
keeping the whole party waiting, perhaps for the very 
youngest members of it. When a box has been taken, 
let the tickets be sent to all the persons who are to 
have seats in it, and not retained by the taker of the 
box till the whole party has assembled at the door of 
the theatre. If the tickets are thus distributed, the 
persons from each house can go when they please, 
without compelling any of the party to wait for them. 

Still, to make an entrance after the performance 
has begun, is (or ought to be) very embarrassing to 
ladies. It excites the attention of all around, divert- 
ing that attention from the performance; and there is 
always, when the house is full, and the hour lute, seme 


delay and difficulty in reaching the scats, even when 
the seats have been secured. 

If it is a concert, where places cannot be previously 
engaged, there are, of course, additional reasons for 
going in due time; and the most sensible and best- 
behaved part of the audience always endeavour to do 
sa But if you are unavoidably late, be satisfied to 
pay the penalty, by quietly taking back-seats, if no 
others are vacant. We have seen young ladies not 
arriving till after the entertainment had commenced, 
march boldly up to the front benches, and stand there 
looking steadfastly in the faces of gentlemen who with 
their parties had earned good seats by coming soon 
after the doors were opened. The ladies persever- 
ing in this determined stare, till they succeeded in 
dislodging these unfortunate gentlemen, and com- 
pelling them to quit their seats, to leave the ladies 
who belonged to them, and to stand for the remainder 
of the evening, perhaps in a distant part of the room 
American men are noted, everywhere, for their polite- 
ness to females. We wish we could say the same of 
the politeness of our fair countrywomen in return. 
Yet frequently they will avail themselves of these 
civilities from strangers, without rewarding them with 
a word of thanks, or even a bow of acknowledgment. 

English tourists remark (and with truth) that there 
is no position in which American ladies appear to such 
disadvantage as when crowding the galleries of our 
legislative assemblies; ejecting gentlemen to whom it 
is of importance to hear the debates ; and still worse, 
intruding upon the floor of the senate-chamber, and 

90 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

compelling the senators to relinquish their place.-, and 
find others where they can, or else to stand all the 
time. And among these ladies, there may he very 
few who are really capable of enjoying or appreciating 
the eloquence of our distinguished orators, or of enter- 
ing understanding^ into the merits of the question. 
Often these damsels are whispering half the time 
ahout some nonsense of their own; and often, as is 
surmised, the chief object of the ladies whose visits to 
the capitol are most frequent, is the chance of a few 
words of flirtation with some of the most gallant 
among the members; or the possibility of being 
escorted home by a congressman, who has but little 
to do, or at least who does but little. We think the 
English parliament is right in excluding ladies from 
their halls, except when the queen goes there in state, 
to open or prorogue the session. Let them be satis- 
fied with reading the debates in the newspapers 

We acknowledge that it is very interesting to see 
and hear the most eminent men of our country ar- 
ranging the aifairs of the nation; to become acquainted 
with their personal appearance, and to listen to their 
eloquence. But the privilege should not be abused 
as it is, by those who, after all, listen so badly, or 
comprehend so badly, that if questioned an hour 
afterward, they could scarcely repeat the purport of 
one single sentence, — nor perhaps even recollect the 
subject of debate. Such instances we have known — 
and not a few of them cither. 

To laugh deridingly, or to whisper unfavourable 
remarks during the performance of a concert or a 


play, is a rudeness of which few American ladies are 
guilty. Still, we occasionally see some of that few, 
who, much to the annoyance of those persons near 
them who really wish to enjoy what they came for, 
talk audibly in ridicule of the performers; the per- 
formers being, in all probability, near enough to hear 
these vexatious remarks, and to be disconcerted by 
them. We heard of a highly respectable actress who 
was so mortified by the unfeeling animadversions of 
some young ladies in a stage-box, that she forgot her 
part, was unable to utter a word, or to restrain her 
tears, and became so nervous that she played badly 
during the remainder of the piece, and was in conse- 
quence, severely handled next day by the newspaper 
critics. This was very hard. 

Parents before taking their children to the theatre, 
should first ascertain whether the play is such as will 
amuse or interest them. Small children are invariably 
restless, troublesome, and finally sleepy at a perform- 
ance that affords them no entertainment, and they will 
be better at home. Yet we have seen little girls 
brought to see the painful tragedy of the Gamester 
— or still worse, the dreary comedy of the Stranger. 
How is it that young ladies are frequently matronized 
to plays that even their mothers cannot witness with- 
out blushes ? 




No lady should set out on a journey unprovided 
with an oiled-silk bag for the reception of tooth- 
brushes, soap, a hair-brush, and a towel. Let the bag 
be about half a quarter of a yard longer at the back 
than at the front; so as to leave a flap to turn over, 
and tie down, when all the articles are in. It should 
be square, (exclusive of the flap,) and about a quarter 
and half-quarter in length, and the same in breadth; 
stitched in compartments, something like an old- 
fashioned thread-case, only that the compartments 
differ much in size. The two smallest are for two 
tooth-brushes. Another should be broad enough to 
contain a hair-brush. For travelling, have a hair-brush 
with a mirror at the back, and if you can get one that 
has also a dressing-comb attached to it, so much the 
better. The largest compartment (which should oc- 
cupy the centre) is for a towel, and a cake of soap. If 
you are obliged to start in haste, all these things can 
be put in while wet from recent use, the towel being 
rolled or folded into as small a compass as possible. 
The oiled silk will prevent the wet from oozing 
through. When all are in, turn over the flap at tho 
top, (which should be furnished with two lung strings 


of broad, white tape,) and tie it securely down. 
Carry this bag, in the square satchel which all ladies 
now keep in their hands when travelling, and which 
contain such things as they may want during the day, 
precluding the necessity of opening their large carpet- 
bag, till they stop for the night. 

In a carpet-bag pack nothing but white articles, or 
such as can be washed, and will not be spoiled by the 
bag chancing to get wet. Have your name engraved 
on the lock of your carpet-bag, and also on the brass 
plate of ■ your trunks. Besides this, write your full 
direction on several cards, make a small hole in each, 
and running a string through the hole, tie a card to 
the handle of each trunk, and sew one on the side of 
your carpet-bag — the direction designating the place 
to which you are going. Your name in full should be 
painted in white letters on every trunk. This costs 
but a trifle, and secures the recognition of your bag- 
gage when missing. It is also an excellent plan to 
tie round the handle of each trunk or bag, a bit of 
ribbon — blue, red, or yelbw — all the bits being off 
the same piece.* 

Write on a large card, a list and description of each 
trunk, box, &c. and give the card to the gentleman 
who escorts you. It will greatly assist him in identi- 
fying all the articles that comprise your baggage. 

Be quite ready at least a quarter of an hour before 
the time for starting. Nelson said he traced all the 

* In a former work of the author's, The House Book, published 
by A. Hart, Philadelphia, will he found ample directions for pack- 
ju£ trunks, .ice. 

94 Miss Leslie's BEHAVIOUR look. 

most fortunate events of his life to his practice of 
being, on every occasion, quite prepared a quarter of 
an hour too early. It is a good rule. 

Previous to departing, put into the hand of your 
escort- rather more than a sufficient sum fur the 
expenses of your journey, so as to provide for all 
possible contingencies. He will return you the ba- 
lance when all is paid. Having done this, should any 
person belonging to the line come to you for your 
fare, refer them to the gentleman, (mentioning his 
name,) and take care to pay nothing more yourself. 

Dress very plainly when travelling. Few ladies 
that are ladies wear finery in rail-cars, and steam- 
boats — still les 01 ..ages — stage-roads being usually 
very dusty. jwy silks, and what are called dress- 

bonnets a A reposterous — so are jewellery ornaments, 
which, if real, you ru* great risk of losing, and if 
false, are very un r A. Above all, do not travel 
in white kid gloves. Respectable women never do. 

The best travelling-dresses are of merino, or alpaca ; 
plain mousseline de laine, grey or brown linen; or 
strong India silk, senshaw for instance. In warm 
weather, gingham is better than printed lawn, which 
rumples and tumbles and "gets into a string" directly. 
The sleeves wide, for if tight to the arm, they will 
stain with perspiration. Your travelling-dress for 
summer should have a large cape or pelerine of the 
same. Beside which, carry on your arm a large 
shawl for chilly mornings and evenings. No lady 
should travel in cold weather, without a warm cloak, 
mantilla, or pelisse, — furs, &c. of course — and travel- 


ling-boots lined with fur or flannel; having also inner 
soles of lambs-wool, varnished on the leather side to 
make them water-proof. ' Take with you one of those 
very useful umbrellas, that arc large enough to shelter 
one person from the rain, and can also be used as a 
parasol. Do not pack it away in a trunk, for you may 
want it in the transit from rail-car to steamboat. 
Keep it near you all the time, with your satchel and 
extra shawl. By all means wear a white collar. 

If you are fortunately able to ride backward as well 
as forward, you will be less incommoded with flying 
sparks, by sitting with your back to the engine. A 
spark getting into the eye is very painful, and some- 
times dangerous. It is possible to expe.l it by blowing 
your nose very hard, while with the other hand you 
w r ipe out the particle of cinder with a corner of your 
handkerchief, pulling down the lower eye-lid. We 
have seen this done successfully. Another way is to 
wrap the head of a pin in the corner of a fine, soft 
cambric handkerchief, and placing it beneath the lid, 
sweep all round the eye with it. If this does not 
succeed, get out at the first station-house where you 
can stop long enough, procure a bristle-hair from a 
sweeping-brush, tie it in a loop or bow with a bit of 
thread, and let some one insert it beneath your eye- 
lid, and move it slowly all round, so as to catch in it 
the offending particle of coal, and bring it out. Or if 
there is time, send to the nearest apothecary for an 
eye-stone, (in reality, a lobster's eye,) and soak it five 
minutes in a saucer of vinegar and water to give it 
activity, then, wiping it dry, and carefully inserting 


it beneath tl^ eye-li<}, bind a handkerchief 

The cyc-stonc will go circling round the eye, and 
most likely take up the mote in its course. When 
the pain ceases, remove the handkerchief, and wash 
the eye with cold water. 

To read in a rail-car is very injurious to the eyes, 
from the quivering, tremulous motion it seems to com- 
municate to the letters of the page. It is best to ab- 
stain from your book till you are transferred to the 

Many persons cannot talk in a rail-car without a 
painful exertion of the voice. And it is not an easy 
task, even to those whose lungs are strong. You can 
easily excuse yourself from conversing with your escort, 
by telling him that your voice is not loud enough to 
be heard above the racket of the cars, and that though 
you will gladly listen to Mm, he must allow you to 
listen without replying, except in. as few words as 
possib]^ If he finds a gentleman with whom he is 
acquainted, desire him to talk to his friend, and leave 
you to hear their conversation as a silent auditor. 

If you pass the night in a steamboat, and can afford 
the additional expense of a whole state-room, by all 
means engage one as soon as you go on board. The 
chambermaid will give you the key and the number, 
and you can retire to it whenever you please, and 
enjoy the luxury of being alone, and of washing and 
dressing without witnesses. If you are constrained to 
take a berth in the ladies' sleeping-cabin, it is not the 
least necessary to retire to it immediately after supper. 
By doing so you will have a very long, tiresome night, 


and be awake many hours before morning. Ad 
you are awake, do not be continually calling upon the 
poor chambermaid, and disturbing her with inquiries, 
such as "Where are we now?" and "How soon shall we 
arrive ( 

The saloon is the place in which ladies and gentle- 
men sit together. If a lady is so inconsiderate or 
selfish as to violate the rules of the boat, by inviting 
her husband or lover to take a seat in the ladies' cabin, 
there is no impropriety in sending the chambermaid 
to remind him that he must leave the room. This is 
often done, and always should be. We once saw a 
gentleman (or a pretended one) so pertinacious in 
remaining, (it is true his lady-love urged him "not to 
mind,") that the captain had to be brought to threaten 
him with forcible expulsion. This had the desired 

, Such are the facilities of travelling, that a lady 
evidently respectable, plainly dressed, and braving 
properly, may travel very well without a gefl^man. 
Two ladies still better. On commencing the journey 
she should speak to the conductor, requesting him to 
attend to her and her baggage, and to introduce her 
to the captain of the boat, who will of course take 
charge of her during the voyage. 

Before arriving at the wharf, she had best engage 
one of the servants of the boat, (promising him a 
shilling or two,) to obtain for her a porter or a hack, 
and to see that her baggage is safe. She must stipu- 
late with the hackman that no stranger is to be put 
into the carriage with her. This is against the law, 


but notwithstanding, is often done, and the ladj 

has first engaged the coach, is liable to have i'or her 
riding-companions persons of improper character and 
vulgar appearance, and to be carried with them to 
their places in remote parts of the city, before she is 
conveyed to her own home. Previous to getting in, 
take the number of the coach, by writing it on a card 
with your pencil, and make your bargain with him as 
to the charge for conveying you and your baggage. 

It would be well if the imposition and insolence of 
hack-drivers were alivays followed with the punish- 
ments provided by law. Ladies are naturally un- 
willing to appear at a magistrate's office. But it is 
the duty of every gentleman, as a good citizen, to see 
that the municipal regulations are never violated with 

All trouble may be avoided on arriving, by sending 
for the captain of the boat, and requesting him to see 
you on shore, or to depute his clerk to that office. 

In^fciving at a rail-road depot, be careful not to 
quit the cars till after they have positively stopped 
quite still. The time gained is but an instant, and 
the risk is very imminent of serious injury by falling, 
should your ankle twist in stepping out while there is 
the least motion. 

On arriving at a hotel, ask immediately to see the 
proprietor ; give him your name and address, tell how 
long you purpose staying, and request him to see that 
you are provided with a good room. Request him 
also to conduct you to the dining-room at dinner-time, 
and allot you a seat near his own. For this purpose, 


he will wait for you near the door, ^do not keep him 
waiting,) or meet you in the ladies' drawing-room. 
While at table, if the proprietor or any other gentle- 
man asks you to take wine with him, politely refuse. 

If, on arriving at the wharf, you expect a gentle- 
man to meet you, take a seat either on deck near the 
cabin-door, or just inside of the door, so that he may 
find you easily. 

If you are to pursue your journey early in the 
morning, desire, over-night, the waiter who attends 
your room, to knock hard at your door an hour before 
the time of starting. Before you go down-stairs, ask 
for the chambermaid who has attended you, and give 
her a fee, (not less than a quarter-dollar,) putting it 
into her own hand yourself, and not commissioning 
another to convey it to her. Do not omit giving a 
quarter-dollar at least, to the waiter who attended 
your room, and one also to him who has served you 
at table. A 

Refrain from making acquaintance with any v stran- 
gers, unless you are certain of their respectability. 
Tf a gentleman of whom you know nothing, endeavours 
to get into conversation with you, turn away, and 
make no reply. Avoid saying any thing to women in 
showy attire, with painted faces, and white kid gloves. 
Such persons have frequently the assurance to try to 
be very sociable with respectable ladies who are travel- 
ling alone. Keep aloof from them always. 

If you have breakfasted early, it will be well to put 
some gingerbread-nuts or biscuits into your satchel, 
as you mav become very hungry before dinner. 


Cairy but little money in your pocket — not more 
than will suffice for the expenses of the day. But for 
travelling, have another pocket, concealed beneath 
your upper petticoat, and in that keep the main por- 
tion of your cash. Be cautious of taking bank-notes 
in change — they may be such as you cannot pass. If 
they are offered to you, refuse them, and insist upon 
gold or silver. 

Travelling in America, ladies frequently meet with 
little civilities from gentlemen, so delicately offered, 
^hat to refuse them would be rude. These incidental 
acts of politeness should always be acknowledged with 
thanks ; but they should not be construed into a desire 
of commencing an acquaintance. If a lady obliged 
to travel alone, wishes to be treated with respect, her 
own deportment must in all things be quiet, modest 
and retiring. 

If you have a servant with you, see that she gets 
her meals, and has a comfortable sleeping-place, or in 
all probability she will be neglected and overlooked. 
In a steamboat or a hotel, speak yourself to the head- 
waiter, and desire him to take her to the servants' 
table and attend to her ; and tell the chambermaid to 
see her provided with a bed. If their lady forgets to 
look out for them, coloured women in particular have 
often no courage to look out for themselves. 




w that there is so much travelling in the summer, 
ndeed at all seasons,) and so much living in pub- 
lic, to save the trouble and the expense of keeping 
house in private, it may be well to offer some hints on 
the propriety of manners that ought to be observed in 
places where you are always exposed to the inspection 
and to the remarks of strangers. These strangers, 
knowing you but slightly, or not at all, will naturally 
draw their inferences for or against you from what 
they see before their eyes ; concluding that you are 
genteel or ungenteel, patrician or plebeian, according 
to the coarseness or the polish of your manners. 

Yet strange to say, there are persons who indulge 
themselves in astounding acts of rudeness, from the 
supposition that a hotel is only a tavern, a sort of 
Liberty Hall, where every one has a right to "take 
their ease in their inn," if they pay for it. Have they 
no respect for themselves ? 

It is usual for members of the same party to meet 
in the ladies' drawing-room before they go in to break- 
fast, unless the party is large ; and then it is not ex- 
pected that half a dozen persons should be kept wait- 
ing for one or two late risers, or tardy dressers. When 

102 miss Leslie's behaviour took. 

two or three of the party find them :uh 

parlour, it will he best for them to proceed 

eating-room, and leave the others to follow i 
convenience, hy twos or hy threes, — always 
that a young lady, if a stranger, is not left t( 
alone. Strangers at hotels can have no pa 
seats at breakfast and tea, as at these two ] 
they always come to table by instalments, anc 
regular time. If a large party enters all a 
and they are determined to sit all together, they m;:y 
occasion much inconvenience to persons already sealed, 
or to the regular boarders, who have their allotted 
seats. Neither is there any necessity or advantage 
in six, eight, or ten people, who travel as one party, 
resolving to establish themselves at a hotel-table all 
side by side, in a row; particularly when it causes 
inconvenience to others. Certainly not more than 
three or four persons ranged in a line can join in the 
same conversation, or attend to the wants of their 
friends. Why then should they make any extraordi- 
nary point of occupying chairs next to each other. It 
■would be better to divide their forces; and if they 
can, for half to sit on one side of the table, and the 
other half directly opposite. Or they will find that if 
the table is full, and they have to disperse still more 
widely, they had best do so with a good grace, rather 
than make any disturbance on the subject. "When 
they quit the table to return to the drawing-room 
they may be very sure of all meeting again near the 

Nine o'clock (or half-past) is the latest hour that 



any guest at a hotel should come to breakfast; and 
few Americans have so little consideration as to detain 
the table and the servants till ten or eleven.* At a 
boarding-house, the guests are very soon made to un- 
derstand that if they are late risers, they need expect 
nothing but the cold leavings of the breakfast. At a 
hotel they find more indulgence. You there choose 
from the bill of fare such dishes as you may prefer, 
and they will be brought to you, after you have been 
supplied with tea or coffee, and bread and butter to 
begin with. To each person is allowed a separate 
dish or plate of the articles selected ; and it is under- 
stood to be for yourself alone, and that no other person 
has a right to partake of it, or to meddle with it in 
any way. Yet even from your own dish, never help 
yourself with the knife and fork or spoon you are 
eating with; but always use a spare one, with which 
the' waiter will furnish you. Do not eat different sorts 
of relishes off the same plate. At a hotel there is no 
scarcity of plates, or of servants to change them. 
Always take butter with the butter-knife, and then do 
not forget to return that knife to the butter-plate. 
Carefully avoid cutting bread with your own knife, or 
taking salt with it from the salt-cellar. It looks as if 
you had not been accustomed to butter-knives and 

Ladies no longer eat salt-fish at a publi' \ -table. 

* Nevertheless, it is not good manners to make any remark 
(even to a friend) on their coming to breakfast late or early. It 
is no concern of yours, and they have reasons of their own, un- 


The odour of it is now considered extremely ungen- 
teel, and it is always very disagreeable to those who 
do not eat it. If you breakfast alone, you can then 
indulge in it. 

Speak to the waiter in a distinct, but not in too 
loud a voice, and always civilly. Thank him for any 
little extra attention he may show you. If you do 
not like what he has brought you, or find that you 
cannot eat it, make youn^objection in a low voice, so 
as not to be heard by theJieighbouring guests; and 
quietly desire him to bring you something else. 

It is usual at a hotel-table for each waiter to have 
charge of three or four persons, and to attend to their 
wants exclusively. If you are a stranger, ask the 
waiter his name when he first comes to you; and 
unless he is not at hand, and you see another standing 
idle, do not call on any one else to attend you. 

If the servants are coloured men, refrain from all 
conversation in their presence that may grate harshly 
on their feelings, by reminding them of their unfortu* 
nate African blood. Do not talk of them as "ne- 
groes,"* or "darkies." Avoid all discussions of 
abolition, (either for or against,) when coloured people 
are by. Also, quote none of their laughable sayings 
while they are present. 

WL m the domestics are Irish, and you have occa- 
sion to reprove them for their negligence, forgetful- 
ness, or blunders, do so without any reference to their 

* Americans never really say niggers, though constantly accused 
of doing so by their British cousins. The word negor we have 
heard, but nigger never. 


HOTEL. f 10( 

country. If you find one who is disrespectful or inso- 
lent, or who persists in asserting a falsehood, it is 
safest to make no reply yourself, but to have the 
matter represented to the proprietor of the house; 
desiring that another waiter may be allotted to you. 

It is ungenteel to go to the breakfast-table in any 
costume approaching to full dress. There must be no 
flowers or ribbons in the hair. A morning-cap should 
be as simple as possible. The most genteel morning- 
dress is a close gown of some plain material, with 
long sleeves, which in summer may be white muslin. 
A merino or cashmere wrapper, (grey, brown, purple, 
or olive,) faced or trimmed with other merino of an 
entirely different colour, such as crimson, scarlet, 
green, or blue, is a becoming morning dress for winter. 
In summer, a white cambric-muslin morning-robe is 
the handsomest breakfast attire, but one of gingham 
or printed muslin the most convenient. The coloured 
dress may be made open in front, with short loose 
sleeves and a pointed body. Beneath it a white 
under-dress, having a chemisette front down to the 
belt, and long white sleeves down to the wrist. 
This forms a very graceful morning costume, the 
white skirt appearing where the -coloured skirt opens. 

The fashion of wearing black silk mittens at break- 
fast is now obsolete. It was always inconvenient, and 
neither useful nor ornamental. 

After breakfast, it is customary for the ladies to 
adjourn to the drawing-room, where they converse, or 
read the papers, or redfeve early visiters, while the 
chambermaids are putting the bed-chambers in order. 


Some who are not accustomed to hotels, go immedi- 
ately from the breakfast-table to their own apartment, 
sitting there among the flue and dust during the 
whole process of bed-making and room-sweeping; 
afraid to trust the chambermaid alone, lest she should 
steal something. This is absurd. They should know 
that the chambermaids (being all considered honest 
and responsible) are furnished wdth duplicate keys, 
by which they can at any time unlock the chamber- 
doors, and let themselves in, when the occupant is 
absent. Also, this palpable suspicion of their honesty 
is an insult to the girls, and is always felt as such. It 
is sufficient to lock the bureau, the wardrobe, and your 
trunks. When you go out, (that is, out of the house,) 
then lock the door of your room, lest some one passing 
by, should have curiosity to stroll in and look about, 
and meddle w T ith what they see there. "** 

Should you perceive that the dress of another lady 
is, by some accident, out of order — for instance, that 
a hook or a button has become unfastened; or that a 
string is visibly hanging out; a collar unpinned, and 
falling off; the corner of a shawl dragging along the 
floor ; a skirt caught up ; or a sleeve slipping down, 
immediately have the kindness to apprize her of it in 
a low voice, and assist her in repairing the mischance ; 
and, if necessary, leave the room with her for that 

We have seen a lady who, finding that a cluster of 
her false curls w T as coming down, had the courage to 
say so to a gentleman with wliom she was conversing 
at a party. And going openly, and at once, to the 


nearest mirror, she calmly adjusted her borrowed 
locks, and returned to her seat with a good grape. 
Consequently, nobody laughed at the untoward acci- 
dent; as might perhaps have been the case, had she 
seemed excessively confused and nrrtified, and awk- 
wardly tried to hold on her curls till she got out of 
the room. 

If you do not wish to be encumbered by carrying 
the key in your pocket, let it be left during your ab- 
sence, with the clerk in the office, or with the bar- 
keeper; and send to him for it on your return. 
Desire the servant who attends the door to show no 
person up to your room during your absence. If 
visiters wish to wait for your return, it is best they 
should do so in the parlour. 

In going in and out, be careful to shut the parlour- 
doors after you, except in summer. Young ladies are 
often very inconsiderate in this respect, and cause 
much inconvenience, in cold weather, to those who do 
not like to sit with a draught of keen air blowing upon 
them. Even if you feel too warm yourself, it is rude 
to throw open a door, (much more to raise a window- 
sash,) without first enquiring if other ladies have no 

Th*ere is no impropriety in a lady commencing con- 
versation with a stranger of genteel appearance*. You 
can easily take occasion to mention your own name, 
and then, in return, she will communicate hers. But, 
unless you are previously certain of her respectaL : lity, 
have little to say to a woman who is travelling without 
a companion, and whose face is painted, who wears a 

108 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

profusion of long curls about her neck, who has a 
meretricious expression of eye, and who is over-dressed 
It is safest to avoid her. Also, you will derive no 
pleasure or advantage from making acquaintance with 
females who are evidently coarse and vulgar, even if 
you know that they are rich, live in a large house, 
and are of respectable character. Young girls who 
are loud, noisy, bold, and forward, (however fashion- 
able they may be,) it is best also to avoid. They will 
not want your society, as they are generally all the 
time surrounded by "beaux," or else rattling over the 
keys of the piano. 

In a public parlour, it is selfish and unmannerly to 
Bit down to the instrument uninvited, and fall to play- 
ing or practising, without seeming to consider the 
probability of your interrupting or annoying the rest 
of the company, particularly when you see them all 
engaged in reading or in conversation. If you want 
amusement, you had better read, or occupy yourself 
with some light sewing or knitting-work. 

If you have no book, you can ring the bell, and 
send to the reading-room to borrow a file of newspa- 
pers ; . but in most hotels, there are books belonging to 
the establishment, lying on a table in the ladies' 
parlour. Be sure not to carry any of these books up- 
stairs, as they are intended solely for the drawing- 
room ; and their removal from thence is interdicted. 
Also, never carry away the Directory, the Atlas, the 
City Guide, or any other book placed there for the 
convenience of strangers. 

If you want pen and ink, or any sort of stationery, 


you can obtain it immediately, by ringing for a servant 
to bring it you from the office. In ringing the bell, 
one pull is sufficient; and always pull the cord down- 
ward. If you jerk it out horizontally, and give 
successively several hard pulls in that direction, the 
cord is very likely to break, or the knob or tassel to 
come off in your hand. At the chief hotel in one of 
the New England cities, we saw a printed paper with 
directions in large type, pasted beside every bell-pull 
in the house; the directions specifying minutely the 
proper mode of bell-ringing. Could it be that this 
house was frequented by persons unaccustomed to 

To return to the too-prevalent evil of uninvited and 
ill-timed piano-playing, (much of which does not de- 
serve the name of music,) we have always been at a 
loss to understand how a young stranger, (modest and 
unobtrusive in other things,) could walk up to the in- 
strument, sometimes almost as soon as she arrives, 
and rattle "fast and furious" over the keys, drowning 
the voices of ladies and gentlemen who were talking, 
and therefore compelling them to cease their conversa- 
tion ; or if they pursued it, obliging them x ) raise 
their tone painfully ; or to lose more than half, from 
the impossibility of hearing each other distinctly. To 
read when piano-playing is going on, is to most per- 
sons impossible. There are few readers who cannot 
so concentrate their attention on their book, as not to 
be disturbed by any talking that may occur in their 
vicinity ; and if talking does withdraw their attention 
from the book, it is best that? they should read only 

110 miss Leslie's behaviour look. 

when alone in their apartment. But we have met 
with no one who could read in the neighbourhood of a 
played piano. 

If the music is really very good, and accompanied 
by a fine voice, it is true that most readers will 
willingly close the book to listen. But if the playing 
is barely tolerable, or decidedly bad, and if the sing- 
ing is weak and insipid, or harsh and screaming, or 
timeless and tasteless, who can possibly wish to hear 
it; except perhaps a doating father, or an injudicious 
mother, vain of her daughter because she is hers, and 
so anxious to show her off, that she encourages the 
girl to display even her deficiencies. 

We believe that our beloved America is not yet the 
land of music; and that (with many exceptions) her 
children are generally not furnished with much capa- 
city for it. If there was a true feeling for music, 
there would be more genius for that charming art, and 
there would be more composers of original airs, the 
number of which, in our country, is smaller than in 
any civilized nation in the world. It is true we have 
many excellent musicians, and many very good sing- 
ers, but still, music is not the grand forte of Jonathan. 
Pity it were, — for he has "a nobler and a manlier 

Now as "there is a time for all things," we persist 
in saying that the time and place for school-girls to 
hear their own music, or to prove that it is not worth 
hearing, is not in the drawing-room of a hotel, or in 
the presence of a company that can have no desire to 
hear them. What would be thought of a young lady, 


who in a public room, should suddenly come forward 
and "speak a speech;" or suddenly rise up, and com- 
mence, "loud and high," a reading of poetry, or recite 
a French fable, or repeat the multiplication table, or 
favour the company with a spontaneous pas seul. 
And yet we do not perceive that any of these feats 
would be a much greater evidence of deficiency in 
diffidence, (to call it by no bolder name,) than the 
practice of rattling, uninvited and unseasonably, over 
the keys of a piano. A really good musician is rarely 
obtrusive with her music, seldom playing unless she is 
asked; and then, of course, complying at once.* 

We repeat that no lady should play or sing in 
company, unless she knows herself to be universally 
considered a good singer or player, and capable of 
something more than the mere series of lessons she 
has learnt from her music teacher. Also, some punish- 
ment should be devised for a young girl who cannot 
play, yet has the folly and assurance to seat herself 
at the piano of a public parlour, and annoy the com- 
pany by an hour of tinking and tanking with one finger 
only. Yet this we have seen ; and her mother present 
all the time. 

The gratuitous exhibition of bad music is said by 
Europeans to be one of the peculiar characteristics of 

* It is customary with professional or public musicians, when in 
private company, to volunteer a song or a piece ; knowing that, 
cut of\ delicacy, no one will ask them to give a gratuitous specimen 
of the art by which they live. This is polite and proper. It ia 
always duly appreciated, and adds to the popularity of the per* 

112 miss Leslie's behaviour book 

American young ladies. Let them then "reform it 

Bring no large sewing into the ladies' drawing- 
room, and nothing that will produce clippings or litter. 
Whenever you have occasion to write more than a few 
lines, do it in your own apartment. It is well to have 
always there a small writing-case of your own, with 
paper, pens, ink, wafers, sealing-wax, envelopes, post- 
office stamps, &c. There are very neat little writing- 
cases, (to be purchased at the best stationers,) that are 
fitted with receptacles for all the above articles, ex- 
cepting paper; the whole occupying no more space in 
your travelling-satchel than a needle-book. The ink is 
so secured, that there is no danger of its spilling. 
You may even carry these writing-cases in your pocket 
as conveniently as a card-case. As writing-paper 
should not be folded or rolled in packing, lay it flat 
in a small port-folio, and put it into your trunk. You 
will find great convenience, when from home, to have 
with you a little assortment of writing materials. 

Except in cases of illness, it is well to decline invi- 
tations "to visit ladies in their own apartments, unless 
you are very intimately acquainted with them, or have 
some particular business. Too much sociability may 
induce communications too confidential; and subse- 
quent events may prove this confidence to be mis- 
placed.. Among the ladies staying at a hotel, there 
is always more harmony, when they all content them- 
selves with meeting at table, or in the public drawing- 
room . Young ladies should not encourage daily 
morning visits from young men boarding at the same 


house, particularly if these visits are long. In our 
country, nearly every young man is obliged, in some 
way, to get his own living ; and few can afford to idle 
away their mornings in loitering about parlours, and 
talking flirtation. A youth who passes his time in 
this manner, is a beau not worth having. A man that 
deserves to be called a good match has something else 
to do with his mornings. Ladies at hotels should be 
specially careful not to make acquaintance with gentle- 
men of whom they know nothing. If a man of noto- 
riously dissipated or immoral character, presumes to 
request an introduction to a lady who is aware of his 
bad reputation, let her at once reply that not consider- 
ing the acquaintance desirable, she must be excused 
for declining it. It is better thus to keep off an 
objectionable man, (even with the certainty of offend- 
ing him,) than weakly to subject yourself to the annoy- 
ance and discredit (perhaps, still worse) of allowing 
him to boast of his intimacy with you. 

In conversing with gentlemen at hotels, (and all 
other places,) try not to fall into the too common 
practice of talking to him nothing but nonsense. It 
is a problem difficult to solve, that so many ladies of 
good abilities and cultivated minds, and who always 
with their own sex talk like intelligent, sensible wo- 
men, should, as soon as they get into conversation 
with a gentleman, seem immediately to take leave of 
rationality, and demean themselves like utter fools — 
giving way at once to something they call excitements 
now the fashionable word for almost every feeling 
that is wrong. 


We grieve to see a charming, modest, refined young 
lady, almost the moment a gentleman begins to talk 
to her, changing her whole demeanour, and quickly 
becoming bold, forward, noisy, and nonsensical ; chat- 
tering at the top of her voice about nothing; and 
keeping up a continual laugh about nothing. Does 
she suppose he cannot understand her if she talks 
sense, — or does she think he will like her the better 
for regaling him with nothing but folly ? She is, in all 
probability, egregiously mistaken, unless the gentle- 
man is himself a simpleton. 

Let it not be supposed that we have any objection 
to that sprightliness which is one of the most agreeable 
characteristics of youth. On the contrary, we are 
glad to see vivacity in women of all ages ; and if they 
have a sprinkling of wit and humour, so much the 
better. But we wish them to do themselves justice ; 
and not, when conversing with men, run wild, because 
it is with men ; and give themselves up to all manner 
of folly, such as would be pointless, vapid, and insipid, 
if it was not seasoned with causeless laughter, and 
with eyes keeping time to the tongue, rolling about in 
perpetual motion at nothing. We do not wish ladies 
in conversing, even with men of sense, to confine 
themselves always to grave discussions on important 
subjects. On the contrary, gay and lively conversa- 
tion is always pleasant, when well-timed. But those 
vho 'have not a talent for wit and humour, had best 
not attempt it. Again, in listening to a woman of 
real wit, you will see that it is her hearers who laugh, 
and not herself. 


Persons who have no turn for humour, and little 
perception of it, are apt to mistake mere coarseness 
for that amusing gift ; and in trying to be diverting, 
often become vulgar — a word not too severe for things 
that are sometimes said and written by very good 
people who wish to be funny, and do not know how. 
For instance, there is no wit, but there is shocking 
ungentility, in a lady to speak of taking a "snooze" 
instead of a nap, — in calling pantaloons "pants," or 
gentlemen "gents," — in saying of a man whose dress 
is getting old that he looks "seedy," — and in alluding 
to an amusing anecdote, or a diverting incident, to say 
that it is "rich." All slang words are detestable 
from the lips of ladies. 

We are always sorry to hear a young lady use such 
a word as "polking" when she tells of having been 
engaged in a certain dance too fashionable not long 
since ; but happily, now it is fast going out, and almost 
banished from the best society. To her honour be it 
remembered, Queen Victoria has prohibited the polka 
being danced in her presence. How can a genteel 
girl bring herself to say, "Last night I was polking 
with Mr. Bell," or "Mr. Cope came and asked me to 
polk with him." Its coarse and ill-sounding name is 
worthy of the dance. 

If you own a lap-dog or poodle, recollect that how- 
ever charming it may be to yourself, others may re- 
gard it as an annoyance ; therefore, try to do without 
it when you are in the parlour of a house that is not 
your own, and when the company present does not 
consist entirely of your own family. All but their 

L16 R BOOK, 

infatuated mistresses soon become very tired of the 
society of these animals. Poodles are generally pee- 
vish, whining, and snappish, prone to get under chairs 
and bite at feet, and to writhe about the skirts of 
dresses. Their faces often look old, withered, cross, 
and blear-eyed, seeming as if constantly troubled by 
the hair that dangles uncomfortably in their eyes ; and 
they are seldom healthy. They have none of the 
honest, grateful, affectionate character common to 
dogs of larger growth. Though they often inspire 
their mistress with a love that becomes such a mania 
as to weaken her affection for all other things, they 
seldom make friends of any one else. We include 
what is called a King Charles's dog in the same cate- 
gory. For instance Jip — whose character is as true 
to nature, and as admirably drawn as that of Dora 

Should a visiter come in to see one of the boarders 
who may be sitting near you, change your place, and 
take a seat in a distant part of the room. It is ill- 
manners to remain, and listen to the conversation. It 
is best for the visited lady to meet her friend as soon 
as she sees her enter the room, and conduct her to a 
Bofa or ottoman where they can enjoy their talk with- 
out danger of being overheard. After the visiter is 
gone, do not enquire her name of the friend she has 
just called on. 

It is not well to call at the same time on two ladies 
both living at the same house, (so as to make one visit 
suffice for both,) unless they are intimate friends of each 
other, or unless your stay in the city will be very 


short. If one is taciturn, and the other conversable, 

she that is silent may imagine herself neglected, by 
the dialogue being chiefly between those who can talk 
fluently, as it certainly will be, if the third person only 
speaks when spoken to, and replies in monosyllables. 

It is better to make a separate visit to each lady, 
en different' days. There is another way, and a very 
good one. For instance, should Mrs. Canning wish 
to call on Mrs. Austin and Miss Lovel, both inmates 
of the same house, let her, when shown into the par- 
lour, send up her name to Mrs. Austin first. When 
that lady comes down, and she and her friend have 
conversed about as long as the usual term of a morn- 
ing call, Mrs. Canning will rise to depart, and when 
Mrs. Austin has seen her to the parlour door, Mrs. C. 
may say, "I will detain you no longer," or "I will 
encroach no longer on your time, but I am going now 
to send up for Miss Lovel." 

Mrs. Austin then takes her leave, and goes up-stairs, 
[her part of the visit being over;) while Mrs. Canning 
returns to her seat in the parlour, having first rung 
the bell, and sent for Miss Lovel. 

In this manner, two distinct visits may be politely 
made to two ladies living in the same hotel — and it is 
very customary. 

Any lady that lives at a hotel can in some degree 
make a return for the civilities received from private 
families, by occasionally inviting a friend to dine or 
take tea with her. These dinners or teas are of course 
always charged in her bill. If she expects a friend, 
she will previously send to apprize the head-waiter 


that she wishes him to reserve n seat next to her own, 
for a lady. She should give her arm to her guest, in 
going to the table. 

If a friend chances to call, whom she really wishes 
to stay and dine or drink tea with her, she should 
ask her guest to take off her bonnet as soon as she 
comes in; giving her the invitation at once, and not 
delaying it till the visiter is about taking her leave. 

Even in a private house, such extemporaneous 
invitations (which if evidently sincere, are always 
gratifying, whether accepted or not) should be given 
immediately, as soon as the hostess meets her guest. 
There will then be time to order any improvement in 
the table arrangements that may be deemed necessary. 

We often have occasion to repeat, that whatever is 
done at all,' should be done well. 

If, while in the parlour of the hotel, you wish to 
know if a person you are desirous of seeing is staying 
at the house, the easiest way to obtain the information, 
is not to enquire round of the ladies present, but to 
ring the bell, and desire the waiter to go and ask at 
the office. You can then send a message accordingly. 
It should be a card with a message pencilled on it. 

By sending to the office you may learn where all 
the public places in the city and its environs are to 
be found. Also, where the churches are situated. 

You may be sure that the most fashionable shops 
are in the main street. 

At any stationer's, you can buy a small pocket-map 
of the city, folded in a little morocco case. This will 
be an almost indispensable aid in finding your way. 


In Philadelphia, the arrangement of the long streets 
that run east and west from the Delaware to the 
Schuylkill, has given occasion to the old rhyme of 

Market, Archf Race and Vine, 
Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce and Pine. 

If when about to ascend the stairs, you find that a 
gentleman is going up at the same time, draw back 
and make a sign for him to precede you. He will 
bow, and pass on before you. When coming down, 
do the same, that the gentleman may descend in ad- 
vance of you. 

A very polished man will not wait for a signal from 
the lady, but will bow and run up-stairs, passing her 
as a thing of course. 

Do not idly detain a parlour newspaper on your lap, 
for half an hour or more, after you have done reading 
it. As soon as you have read all you want, replace it 
on the table, or transfer it to another lady, who may 
wish to read it, and who may have been waiting anx- 
iously to see you lay it out of your hand. You have 
no right to monopolize any thing that is intended for 
the convenience of the whole company. 

120 Alias LESLIE^ LEllAVlUUli LOOK. 



In dressing for a hotel dinner, it is not well to 
adopt a full evening costume, and to appear as if 
attired for a ball ; for instance, with a coloured velvet 
gown; or one of a splendid brocade; or a transparent 
gauze material over a satin ; or with short sleeves and 
bare neck in cold weather; or with flowers or jewels 
in the hair. Such costumes should be reserved for 
evening parties. If worn at the table d'hote, it may 
be suspected you have no other place in which to dis- 
play them. Your dress need not be more showy than 
you would wear when dining at a private house, par- 
ticularly if you are a permanent boarder. There is 
no place where dress escapes with less scrutiny than 
at a great hotel. Still, it is bad taste to go to the 
dinner-table in ungenteel and unbecoming habiliments 
— such as a figured or party-coloured mousseline-de- 
laine, a thing which always has the effect of calico, 
and, like calico, gives an unlady-like look even to the 
most decided lady. In fact, what is it but woollen 
calico? And if it is accompanied by a very thin, 
flimsy collar, so small and narrow as to be scarcely 
visible, the neck and face will look dingy and ill- 
coloured for want of sufficient white to relieve it. No 


collar at all, but merely a coloured silk handkerchief, 
or a coloured dress, coming immediately against the 
neck, is disfiguring to all women, and men too. 

Most American ladies beyond the age of thirty-five, 
look better in caps than without them, even if their 
hair shows no signs of middle age. Before that time, 
the females of our country begin to fade, evincing one 
effect of torrid summers and frozen winters. A 
tasteful and simply elegant cap (not one that is 
elaborate in its design, and loaded with ornament,) 
imparts a grace and softness to a faded face, and 
renders less conspicuous the inroads of time. A 
decidedly old lady, persisting in going with her head 
uncovered, is a pitiable object, and scarcely looks 
respectable. Worse still, when she takes to an auburn 
wig. Gray hair is seldom unbecoming to a man. To 
a woman it gives a masculine aspect, especially if 
wOrn without a cap; and if there is an attempt at 
long gray locks, or ringlets, the effect is strange, wild 
and ghastly. It is far more becoming for an elderly 
lady to give a dark shade to her temples, and the 
upper part of her forehead, by a plain, simple, and 
becoming dark-coloured braid, not intended to pass as 
her natural hair, (for it never does,) but merely that 
the face should be set off by a due proportion of 
shadow, — and not be all light or lightish. If a 
decidedly old lady prefers wearing her own gray hair, 
let her part it smoothly on her forehead, but make no 
attempt at curls, and be sure £o add a cap to it. An 
elderly female should, as we have said, always wear a 
cap; and her cap should have tabs or broad strings to 

1l'2 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

tic under her chin. There is no use or beauty in a 
lady looking older than is necessary, by wearing a 
short-eared or round-eared cap, set back from her 
head, and exposing all her cheeks even beyond her 
ears, with the crease in her chin, and the deep 
furrows or wrinkles on each side of her neck — all 
which can be concealed by bringing forward the bow 
of her cap tabs. 

Let all ladies, old and young, avoid having their 
caps trimmed with ribbons or flowers of what are called 
high-colours ; deep, heavy pinks and blues, and reddish 
lilacs. These colours vulgarize every thing they are 
intended to decorate. High-coloured ribbons, flowered 
or figured, are decidedly vulgar. 

A profusion of jewels at a public table is in very 
bad taste, particularly if the jewellery is palpably 
false — for instance, a large brooch with great mock 
diamonds, or a string of wax beads meant for pearls. 
Still worse, glass things imitating topazes or garnets 
— or two or three gilt bracelets on one arm. A large 
imitation gem always betrays its real quality by its size. 

Endeavour to make your arrangements so as to be 
dressed for dinner, and seated in the ladies' drawing- 
room, about ten or fifteen minutes before the dining- 
hour, that you may be ready to go in with the rest of 
the company. 

If you and your party are strangers, recently ar- 
rived, do not at once take the lead, and walk up to the 
head of the table, regardless of dislodging and causing 
inconvenience among the regular boarders, to phom 
those seats have been allotted. But desire a servant 


to show you a place. The head-waiter is usually at 
hand to arrange seats for the strangers, and he will 
attend to you. Persons jiot accustomed to hotels, 
frequently show a great craving for the seats near the 
head of the table. This is foolish. There are no 
places of honour; neither are the eatables better at 
one part of the table than another. 

Nobody "sits below the salt." And every one has 
an equal chance of obtaining a share of the nicest 
articles on the table. What is most desirable is to 
have a seat in the vicinity of agreeable people, and 
you will more frequently find them about the middle, 
or lower end of the table, than at the top — that being 
the place usually most coveted by the least genteel of 
the guests. We have seen the Chief Magistrate of the 
Union, "the ruler of millions," simply take a seat 
near the door, at the lower end of a hotel-table, in 
Philadelphia, having arrived unexpectedly. 

As we have said before, we perceive not the pro- 
priety or the convenience of a large party of strangers, 
on entering in a body, pertinaciously making their 
way to the upper end of the table, with a determi- 
nation to obtain seats all in a row; as if the whole 
row together could join in the same conversation, 
or even see each other, when they sit on the same 

In seating yourself, look down for a moment to 
see if you have placed the foot of your chair on the 
dress of the lady sitting next to you ; and if you have 
don# so, remove it immediately, that her dress may 
be in no danger of tearing when she attempts to rise. 

121 miss Leslie's behaviour look. 

Sit close to the table, but never lean your elbows 
upon it. To sit far from it, and reach out distantly,' 
is very awkward. Having unfolded your napkin, 
secure it to your belt with a pin, to prevent its slip- 
ping down from your lap, and falling under the table. 
This may be done so that the pinning will not be 
perceptible. Bring with you a spare pin or two for 
this purpose, — or keep always a pincushion in your 
pocket. It is much better than to incur the risk of 
getting your dress greased or stained by the napkin 
deserting your lap. If such accidents should happen, 
pass them over slightly, and do not lose your temper. 
For the present, wipe the spot with your napkin, and 
dip the corner in water, and rub it lightly over the 
grease-mark. When dinner is over, you can finish 
repairing the injury in your own room. The coloured 
waiters are generally very clever at removing grease- 
spots from dresses. One of them will do it for you 
after dinner. The stain of wine or fruit may in most 
cases be taken out of a washable article by laying it 
immediately in cold water. 

To eat in gloves or mittens was always foolish; 
fortunately it is no longer fashionable; but greatly 
the contrary. 

Refrain from loud talking, or loud laughing. 
Young ladies truly genteel are never conspicuously 
noisy at a public table, or anywhere else. Still more 
carefully refrain from whispering, or exchanging 
significant glances. Whispers are always overheard, 
(even when the vulgar precaution is taken of screening 
your mouth with your hand,) and glances are always 


observed.* Joggings, nudgings, pinchings, sleeve-pull- 
ings, &c. are excessively unlady-like, and shamefully 
impudent when (as is often the case) the eye of the 
jogger is fixed upon the object of the jog. To put up 
an eye-glass at the face of a stranger, is very rude. 
So it is to make remarks in French. 

"When eating fish, first remove the bones carefully, 
and lay them on the edge of your plate. Then with 
your fork in your right hand, (the concave or hollow 
side held uppermost,) and a small piece of bread in 
your left, take up the flakes of fish. Servants, and 
all other persons, should be taught that the butter- 
sauce should not be poured over the fish, but put on 
one side of the plate, that the eater may use it pro- 
fusely or sparingly, according to taste, and be enabled 
to mix it conveniently with the sauce from the fish- 
castors. Pouring butter-sauce over any thing is now 

Do not attempt removing a cover from a dish, that 
you may help yourself before the rest of the company. 
Leave all that to the waiters. Tell them what you 
want in a distinct, but not in a loud, conspicuous voice. 
In asking a servant to bring you a thing, add not the 
useless and senseless words " will youV for instance, 
"Bring me the bread, will you?" — "Give me some 
water, will you?" Of course he will. Has he the 

* A whisperer usually betrays herself by unconsciously fixing 
her eyes on the person she is secretly talking of. If juu wish 
to inform your neighbour that a distinguished person is present 
lu,v softly, " Mr. C. is here, but do not look at him just now." 

126 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

option of refusing? How you would be startled wer€ 

he to answer, " I will not*' It is well alwa^ 
even to servants, "I will thank you for the bread, — 
or the water." If you nre a stranger in the house, 
ask, at the beginning, the servant who waits on you to 
tell you his name. This may save you some incon- 
venience. Where servants are numerous, they should 
always go by their surnames, and be called Wilson, 
Jackson, Thomson, or whatever it may be. This will 
prevent the confusion arising from half a dozen Johns, 
or as many "Williams. 

If the waiters are attentive, and in sufficient number, 
you will have, at a good hotel, little or no occasion to 
help yourself to any thing. Do not, under any cir- 
cumstances, reach across the table, or rise on your 
foet to get at any particular dish you may want. 
Trouble no one of the company; but wait till you see 
a servant at hand. No man who is a gentleman ever 
puts the ladies in requisition to help him at table. 

It is not customary at hotels for ladies to be assidu- 
ous in watching and supplying the plates of gentlemen. 
- can take care of themselves. 

If in turning to speak to a waiter, you find him in 
the act of serving some one else, say, " When you are 
at leisure, I will thank you for some w T ater," — or what- 
ever you may want. 

It is selfish to be continually sending out of the room 
the man who waits near you, for the purpose of bring- 
ing extra things for yourself. Try to be satisfied 
with what you find on the table, and recollect that 
you are depriving other., of his services, while you 


are dispatching him back and forward on errands to 
the kitchen. 

Many persons hold silver forks awkwardly, as if not 
accustomed to them. It is fashionable to use your 
knife only while cutting up the -food small enough to 
be eaten with the fork alone.. While cutting, keep 
the fork in your left hand, the hollow or concave side 
downward, the fork in a very slanting position, and 
your fore-finger extended far down- upon its handle. 
When you have done cutting up wnat you are going 
to eat, lay aside your knife, transfer the fork to your 
right hand, and take a small piece of bread in your 
left. If eating any thing soft, use your silver fork 
somewhat as a spoon, turning up the hollow side that 
the cavity may hold the food. If engaged in talking, 
do not, meanwhile, hold your fork bolt upright, but 
incline it downward, so as to be nearly on a level with 
your plate. Remember, always, to keep your own 
knife, fork, and spoon out of the dishes. It is an 
insult to the company, and a disgrace to yourself, to 
dip into a dish any thing that has been even for a 
moment in your mouth. To take butter or salt with 
your own knife is an abomination. There is always a 
butter-knife and a salt-spoon. It is nearly as bad to 
take a lump of sugar with your fingers. 

In eating bread at dinner, break off little bits, in- 
stead of putting the whole piece to your mouth and 
biting at it. 

No lady looks worse than when gnawing a bone, 
even of game or poultry. Few ladies do it. In fact, 
nothing should be sucked or gnawed in public ; neither 


corn bitten off from the cob, nor melon nibbled from 
the rind.* It is very ungraceful to eat an orange at 
table, unless, having cut a bit off the top, you eat the 
inside with a tea-spoon — otherwise reserve it for the 
privacy of your own room. Always pare apples and 
peaches; and crack no nuts with your teeth. In 
eating cherries, put your half-closed hand before your 
mouth to receive the stones; then lay them on one 
side of your plate. To spit out the stones one at a 
time as you proceed with the cherries is very ungen- 
teel. Get rid of plumb-stones in the same manner. 

Do not eat incongruous and unsuitable things from 
the same plate, telling the waiter that "he need not 
change it, as it will do very well." The washing of a 
plate (more or less) is no object whatever in a large 
establishment, and it is expected that the guests will 
have clean ones very frequently. 

It is an affectation of ultra-fashion to eat pie with a 
fork, and has a very awkward and inconvenient look. 
Cut it up first with your knife and fork both ; then 
proceed to eat it with the fork in your right hand. 

Much of this determined fork-exercise may be con- 
sidered foolish. But it is fashionable. 

If a lady wishes to eat lobster, let her request the 
waiter that attends her, to extract a portion of it from 
the shell, and bring it to her on a clean plate — also 
to place a castor near her. 

* It is, however, customary in eating sweet potatoes of a large 
s^ze, to break them in two, and taking a piece in your hand, to 
pierce down to the bottom with your fork, and then mix in some 
butter, continuing to nold it thus while eating it. 


Novices in lobster sometimes eat it simply with 
salt, or with vinegar only, or with black pepper. Thi3 
betrays great ignorance of the article. To prepare it 
according to the usual custom, — cut up, very small, 
the pieces of lobster, and on another plate make the 
dressing. First, mash together some hard-boiled yolk 
of egg, and some of the red coral of the lobster, with 
a little salt and cayenne. Mix in, with a fork, mus- 
tard to your taste; and then a liberal allowance of 
salad-oil, finishing with vinegar. Transfer the bits of 
lobster to the plate that has the dressing, and combine 
the whole with a fork. Lettuce salad is dressed in 
the same manner. 

At a public table, a lady should never volunteer to 
dress salad for others of the company. Neither should 
she cut up a pie, and help it round. These things 
ought only to be done by a gentleman, or a servant. 

If a gentleman with whom you are acquainted has 
dressed a salad, and offers the plate to you, take what 
you want, and immediately return to him the remain- 
der ; and do not pass it on to persons in your vicinity. 
It is his privilege, and not yours to offer it to others, 
as he has had the trouble of dressing it. And it is 
just that he should have a portion of it for himself, 
which will not be the case if you officiously hand it 
about to people around you. Leave It to him to dis- 
pose of as he pleases. 

It was formerly considered ill-manners to refuse to 
take wine with a gentleman. Now that the fortunate 
increase of temperance has induced so many persona 
to abjure, entirely, the use of all liquors, it is no longer 


an offence to decline these invitations. If you have 
no conscientious scruples, and if you are acquainted 
with the gentleman, or have been introduced to him, 
(not else,) you may comply with his civility, and when 
both glasses are filled, look at him, bow your head, 
and taste the wine. If you are placed between a lady 
and gentleman who are taking wine together, lean 
back a little that they may see each other's faces. It 
is not customary, in America, for a lady to empty her 
glass, — or indeed, at a hotel, or boarding-house, to 
take wine with the same gentleman after the first day. 
Next time he asks, politely refuse, simply desiring 
him to excuse you. If he is a true gentleman, he will 
regard your refusal in its proper light, and not persist. 
We have often, at a public table, regretted to see ladies 
in the daily practice of taking wine with the same 
gentleman as often as invited. This "daily practice" 
is improper, indelicate, and we will say mean — for 
wine is expensive, and no lady should every day place 
herself under the same obligation to the same gentle- 
man, even for a single glass. He will not respect her 
the more for doing so. On no consideration let any 
lady be persuaded to take two glasses of champagne. 
It is more than the head of an American female can 
bear. And she may rest assured that (though un- 
conscious of it berself) all present will find her cheeks 
flushing, her eyes twinkling, her tongue unusually 
voluble, her talk loud and silly, and her laugh inces- 
sant. Champagne is very insidious ; and two glasses 
may throw her into this pitiable condition. 

If a stranger whom you do not know, and to whom 


you have had no introduction, takes the liberty of 
asking you to drink wine with him, refuse at once, 
positively and coldly, to prove that you consider it an 
unwarrantable freedom, i And so it is. 

If you are helped to any thing whose appearance 
you do not like, or in which you are disappointed when 
you taste it, you, of course, at a hotel table, are not 
obliged to eat it. Merely leave it on your plate, 
without audibly giving the reason ; and then, in a low 
voice, desire the waiter to bring you something else. 
It is well, while at table, to avoid any discussion of 
the demerits of the dishes. On the other hand, you 
may praise them as much as you please. 

In refusing to be helped to any particular thing, 
never give as a reason that "you are afraid of it," or 
" that it will disagree with you." It is sufficient simply 
to refuse; and then no one*has a right to ask why? 
While at table, all allusions to dyspepsia, indigestion, 
or any other disorders of the stomach, are vulgar and 
disgusting. The word "stomach" should never be 
uttered at any table, or indeed anywhere else, except 
to your physician, or in a private conversation with a 
female friend interested in your health. It is a dis- 
agreeable word, (and so are all its associations,) and 
should never be mentioned in public to "ears polite." 
Also, make no remarks on what is eaten by persons 
near you, (except they are children, and under your 
own care,) such as its being unwholesome, indigestible, 
feverish, or in any way improper. It is no business 
of yours; and besides, you are not to judge of others 
by yourself. No two constitutions are alike, and what 

L32 miss Leslie's behaviour took. 

is very bad for you, may be perfectly innoxious to 
others. If persons are with you in whom yon are 
much interested, and over whom you have influence, 
and they seem inclined to eat what is bad for them, 
refrain from checking them in presence of strangers. 
Above all, do not open your eyes, and hold up your 
hands, and exclaim against their folly, and want of 
self-control, and predict their certain sufferings from 
that cause. But if you must remonstrate, wait till 
you have quitted the table, and find yourself alone 
with the delinquent. 

Never, while at table, (whether in public or private,) 
allow yourself to talk on painful or disgusting subjects. 
Avoid all discussions of sicknesses, sores, surgical 
operations, dreadful accidents, shocking cruelties, or 
horrible punishments. A love of such topics, evinces 
a coarse and unfeminine mind. It is rude in gentle- 
men at any time to introduce them before ladies;- and 
a polished man never does so. The conversation at 
table should be as cheerful and pleasant as possible. 
Political and sectarian controversies ought to have no 
place there. Shakspeare truly says, " Unquiet meals 
make ill digestion." 

Avoid the discussion at table of private affairs ; either 
your own, or those of other people. Remember that 
"servants have ears," and frequently much more quick- 
ness of comprehension and retentiveness of memory 
than is generally supposed. So have children. 

Abstain from picking your teeth at table. Not- 
withstanding that custom has allowed this practice in 
Europe, (even in fashionable society,) it is still a very 


disagreeable one, and to delicate spectators absolutely 
sickening to behold. Delay it till you are alone, and 
till you can indulge in it without witnesses. We know 
that it is quite possible to go on through a long life, 
and to have clean teeth, without ever once having 
been seen to pick them ; and yet those teeth are really 
picked after every meal. 

Should you chance to be extremely incommoded by 
some extraneous substance that has gotten between 
your teeth, you can remove it unperceived, by holding 
up your napkin or handkerchief before your mouth, so 
as effectually to conceal the process. When you take 
any thing out of your teeth, do not make the persons 
who are near you sick, by laying the disgusting par- 
ticle on the side of your plate ; but conceal it imme- 
diately. Still, nothing but "sheer necessity" can 
excuse any teeth-picking at table. 
• We have seen a young lady, at a very fashionable 
house in one of our great cities, pull a dish of stewed 
oysters close to her, and with a table-spoon fish out 
and eat the oysters one at a time; audibly sipping up 
their liquor from the said dish. 

We have seen a young gentleman lift his plate of 
soup in both hands, hold it to his mouth and drink, or 
rather lap it up. This was at no less a place than 

We have heard of a well-dressed stranger at a great 
hotel dn Boston, who having used his own knife for 
the butter, flew into a violent passion with the waiter 
for respectfully pointing out to him the silver butter- 
knife. Swearing that the knife he had been putting 

134 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

in his mouth was quite good enough, afterward, for 
any butter in the world, the gentleman flung the silver 
knife across the table, and broke it against the wall. 
For this exploit he had to pay five dollars. 

A man that habitually rises on his feet to reach 
across the table for a dish, and pulls it to himself, 
instead of desiring the waiter to bring it to him, is 
unworthy the appellation of a gentleman. Ladies, of 
course, cannot be guilty of this abomination ; but it is 
true that they sometimes extend their arms entirely 
too far, in trying to get at something which a servant 
would bring them if asked to do so. 

Some persons behave coarsely at a public table 
because they are ignorant, and know no better. Some 
(far less excusable) are rude because they are too 
selfish to put any restraint on their inclinations, or to 
care for the convenience of others. 

Some display, all the time, a vulgar determination to 
"get the full worth of their money." Some, who at 
a private dinner-table would be the most polite people 
imaginable, lay aside their good manners in a public 
dining-room ; regarding a hotel as they would a ta- 
vern — a sort of Liberty Hall. And some are insolent 
by way of "showing their consequence," — having, in 
reality, mixed so little with true people of consequence, 
as not to be aware that persons of high station are, 
with few exceptions, entirely free from the assumption 
of undue importance. 

Servants are often very shrewd observers, and they 
always say that real gentlefolks "never take airs." 
Neither they do. 


When the finger-glasses are sent round, dip a clean 
corner of your napkin into the water, and wet round 
your lips with it, but omit the disgusting foreign 
fashion of taking water into your mouth, rinsing and 
gurgling it round, and then spitting it back into the 
glass. Wait till you can give your mouth a regular 
and efficient washing up-stairs. Dip your fingers into 
the glass, rub them with the slice of lemon, or the 
orange-leaf that may be floating on the surface, and 
then wipe them on the napkin. We have heard of a 
man who saw finger-glasses for the first time in his 
life, when dining at one of the New York hotels. A 
slice of lemon floating on the top, he took up the bowl 
and drank the water, exclaiming as he set it down — 
"Well' if this isn't the poorest lemonade I ever 

On quitting the table, it is not necessary to fold up 
your napkin. Merely lay it on the table near your 
plate. The napkins will be immediately collected by 
the servants, carried to the laundry, and thrown at 
once into tubs of water, to take out the stains. 

When dinner is over, and yju see that nearly all 
the company, except two or three, have left the table, 
it is not well to be one of that two or three, and to 
remain to an indefinite period, loitering over the laflt 
pickings of a plate of nuts — nut-picking being always 
a tedious business. The waiters are, by this time, 
very tired of standing, and they (like all other people) 
are entitled to some consideration of their comfort. 
Even the attraction of a beau drinking his wine beside 
er, ought not to induce a young lady to outstay alJ 

lot) miss Leslie's behavioub book. 

the company, with the pretext of being passionately 
fond of nuts. She may indulge this passion at any 
time by keeping a bag of them in her own room. 

The English travellers who visit America are often 
right in their remarks on many of our customs. And 
instead of resenting these remarks, we might profit by 
them, and reform. 

For instance, it is true that the generality of Ameri- 
cans eat too fast, for their own health, and the comfort 
of those about them; masticating their food very 
slightly, and not allowing themselves time enough to 
enjoy their meals. The French, however, eat faster 
still, and can dispatch a surprising quantity of food in 
less time than any people in the civilized world. If 
we pattern after either nation in the customs of the 
table, the genteel English are far better models than 
most of their neighbours across the Channel. But the 
best class of Americans are unsurpassed in the essen- 
tials of all these observances. The English attach too 
much importance to ceremonies merely conventional, 
and for which there seems no motive but the ever- 
changing decrees of fashion. Yet, on going to Eng- 
land, let every American lady take care to make 
herself acquainted with these ceremonies; for her 
ignorance of them will find no quarter there — and she 
need not flatter herself that it will be passed over un- 

In most hotels it is not customary to have hot cakes 
or any warm dishes on the tea-table, except in cold 
\v outlier. We think, in a summer afternoon, they can 
be easily dispensed with, and that ladies might be 


satisfied with sweet cakes, fruit, preserves, and other 
things more delicate, and more suited to the hour, 
than the hot preparations they sometimes call for; 
and which, by not seeing them on the table, they 
may be assured do not come within scope of the tea- 
arrangements. It is expecting too much to suppose 
the cook will be willing to mix batter-cakes and bake 
them, or to scorch over the fire with broiling or stew- 
ing relishes, in a warm summer evening — or even to 
make toast, except for an invalid. Also, every one 
should know that a substantial meal (including tea 
and coffee) can generally be had at the nine o'clock 
supper-table. In houses where there is no nine o'clock 
supper, the tea-table is set out with greater profusion 
and variety. 

At hotels, the interval between dinner and tea is 
usually short; the tea-hour being early, that the 
guests may have ample time to prepare for going to 
places of amusement. Yet there are ladies who, 
though spending all the evening at home, will remain 
sitting idly in the parlour till eight o'clock, (or later 
still,) keeping the table standing and servants waiting 
in attendance, that they may have a better appetite, 
and be able to make a heartier meal at their tea. 
This is selfish and inconsiderate, particularly as they 
might easily wait a little longer, and take their tea or 
coffee at the supper-table. Their appetites would then 
be still better. The servants certainly require rest, 
and should be exempt from all attendance in the ladies' 
eating-room, for an hour or two in the evening. 

No lady can remain long in the drawing-room 

138 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

talking to a gentleman after all the rest have retired 
for the night, without subjecting herself to remarks 
which it w r ould greatly annoy her to hear — whether 
merited or not. Neither is it well for her to be seen 
continually sitting at the same window with the same 

Ladies and gentlemen who wish to hold private- 
dialogues, should not for that purpose monopolize a 
centre-table; thereby preventing persons who wish to 
read from availing themselves of the light of the 
chandelier above it. Lover3 who have proper con- 
sideration, (a rare occurrence,) always sit as far as 
possible from the rest of the company, and so they 
should — unless they can bring themselves to join in 
general conversation. That is, if the lovership is real. 
In many cases the semblance is only assumed to pro- 
duce effect, and the talk has really nothing secret or 
mysterious about it, and might just as well be uttered 

In making acquaintance with a stranger at a hotel, 
there is no impropriety (but quite the contrary) in 
enquiring of her from what place she comes. In 
introducing yourself give your name audibly; or 
what is still better, if you have a card about you, 
present that; and she should do the same in return. 
Before you enter into conversation on any subject 
connected with religion, it will be well to ask her to 
what church she belongs. This knowledge will guard 
you from indulging, inadvertently, in sectarian re- 
marks which may be displeasing to her, besides pro- 
ducing a controversy which may be carried too far, 


and jjroduce ill-feeling between tne parties. We li tve 
known the mere question, a Have you been to church 
to-day?" when asked of a stranger at a Sunday dinner- 
table, bring on a dialogue of great asperity, and very 
annoying to the hearers. As it cannot possibly con- 
cern yourself whether the strangers at a hotel have 
been to church or not, or what church they have 
visited, omit catechising them at table on this or any 
other religious subject. We have never known a 
clergyman guilty of this solecism in good sense and 
good manners. 

When you give a gratuity to a servant — for instance, 
to the man who waits on you at table, or he that 
attends your room, or to the chambermaid or the 
errand-boy — give it at no regular time, but whenever 
you think proper, or find it convenient. It is inju- 
dicious to allow them to suppose that they are to do 
you no particular service without being immediately 
paid for it. It renders them mercenary, rapacious, 
and neglectful of other boarders who are less profuse ; 
not reflecting that the servants are hired to w T ait on 
the company, and are paid wages for doing so, by the 
proprietor of the establishment, and that it is there- 
fore their duty to him, and to his guests, to exert 
themselves so to give satisfaction. Still, it is right 
and customary to pay them extra for conveying your 
baggage up and down stairs when you are departing 
from the house or returning to it. Carrying heavy 
♦baggage is very hard work even for strong men. If 
you are a permanent boarder, and from ill-health 
vequire extra attendance, it is well to give a certain 

140 jtiss Leslie's behaviour look. 

;um, month)/', to each of the servants who waitjsrpon 

you; and then they will not expect any thing more, 
except on extraordinary occasions. And to each of 
them, separately, give the money with your own hand. 
In short, whatever you give to any one, (servants or 
others,) it is safest, when convenient, to bestow it in 
person. There will then be no mistakes, no forget 
tings, and no temptation to embezzlement. 

If you live in Philadelphia, you will find it very 
convenient, in most cases, to send messages by a note 
with a stamp on it, put into the city-post. There is 
a mail-bag and a letter-box at all hotels, and at most 
of the large boarding-houses. The errand-boy of the 
hotel carries parcels, and takes such messages as 
require an immediate answer. For a distance of any 
consequence, he will expect from twelve to twenty- 
five cents. For little errands in the immediate 
neighbourhood, less will suffice. When a servant 
brings you small change, do not tell him to keep it. 
It is giving him the bad habit of expecting it always ; 
and at times when you may have occasion, yourself, 
for that very change. It is the worst way of feeing 
them. On leaving the house, and at Christmas, it is 
customary to give a fee rather larger than usual, to 
the servants who have been your attendants. But as 
we have said before, give it with your own hands. 

It is ungenerous and most unjustifiable to bribe 
the servants to neglect other boarders, (whose place is 
near yours,) for the purpose of their bestowing on you 
a double share of attention. It is taking an undutr 
advantage, which in the end will come out badly. 


All^persons who go to hotels are not able to lavish 
large and frequent gratuities on the servants. But 
all, for the price they pay to the proprietor, are en- 
titled to an ample share of attention from the do- 

It is very mean and unladylike to gossip secretly 
"with the servants, and question them about any of the 
other guests. Still worse, to repeat what they tell 
you, and give them as authority. Treat them always 
with kindness and civility, but have no confidential 
and familiar intercourse with them. To those you 
know, it is but common civility to bid good morning 
every day. Coloured people you may always gratify 
by saying a few words to them, now and then, in 
passing. They value this little kindness, and will not 
presume upon it like those from "the old country," 
who, if treated familiarly, will frequently take liberties, 
and lose all respect for you. Elderly coloured people, 
(particularly in the South,) like much to be called 
"aunt" or "uncle;" and it degrades no white lady to 
please them by doing so. 

In all hotels, it is against the rule to take out of 
the ladies' drawing-room any books that . may be 
placed there for the general convenience of the com- 
pany, such as dictionaries, guide-books, directories, 
magazines, &c. If you borrow a file of newspapers 
from the reading-room, get done with them as soon 
as you can, lest they should be wanted there by the 
gentlemen ; and as soon as you have finished, ring for 
a servant to carry them back. 

Be careful, in cold weather, always to shut tile 


142 miss Leslie's behaviour look. 

parlour-doors after you. If you think the room too 
warm, do not throw open either door or window, with- 
out first enquiring if it will cause inconvenience to any 
one present. It is a good practice to carry a pocket 
fan even in winter, in case you should chance to feel 
the heat more sensibly than any other lady in the 
room. If the heat of the grate causes you inconve- 
nience, enquire if there is any objection to having the 
blower brought in and stood up before it. If not, 
ring the bell and order it. 

If you have an anthracite fire in your chamber, and 
wish to extinguish it on retiring for the night, take the 
tongs, and lifting off some of the largest coals from 
the top, lay them beneath the grate. Then, with the 
shut-tongs or the poker, make a deep hollow in the 
centre of the fire ; raking it into two hills, one on each 
side, leaving a valley down in the middle. It will 
begin to blacken immediately, and go out in a few 
minutes. If you cannot do this yourself, ring for a 

This is the only way to put out an anthracite fire, 
whether in a grate or a stove. — There is no other. 
Try \t. 




There are few places where the looks and manners 
of the company are more minutely scanned than on 
ship-board; and few where the agreeability of a lady 
will be more highly appreciated. There is little or no 
variety of objects to attract attention. The passengers 
are brought so closely into contact with each other, and 
confined to so small a neighbourhood, or rather so many 
neighbours are crowded into so small a space, that all 
their sayings and doings are noticed with unusual at- 
tention, by those who are well enough to regard any 
thing but themselves. Sea-sickness is a very selfish 
malady, — and no wonder that it is so. Fortunately it 
is less prevalent than formerly, thanks to the improve- 
ments in cabin-room, ventilation, lodging, food, and 
many other things connected with ocean-travelling. 
A lady who is not of a bilious or dyspeptic habit, and 
who has taken precautionary medicine a few days be- 
fore commencing the voyage, frequently escapes sea- 
sickness altogether; or at least gets well after the 
first day or two. 

It is best not to be over-officious in offering your 
aid to the sick ladies, unless they are your intimate 
friends. The stewardess of a packet-ship is generally 


all-sufficient; and much more capable of attending to 
their wants than you can be. Sea-sickness renders 
its victims very querulous ; and few like to be continu- 
ally reminded of their condition by enquiries too often 
repeated of — " How do you find yourself now V* " Do 
you feel any better?" or, "Do you think you could 
not eat something?" To one very much prostrated 
by the effects of the sea-motion, the mere replying to 
these questions is an additional misery. Whatever 
sympathy you may feel, at the time, for those afflicted 
with the marine malady, remember that it is a dis- 
order which never kills, but very frequently cures. 

If you are sick yourself, say as little about it as 
possible. And never allude to it at table, where you 
will receive little sympathy, and perhaps render your- 
self disgusting to all who hear you. At no time talk 
about it to gentlemen. Many foolish commonplace 
sayings are uttered by ladies who attempt to describe 
the horrors of sea-sickness. For instance this — "I 
felt all the time as if I wished somebody to take me 
up, and throw me overboard." This is untrue — no 
human being ever really did prefer drowning to sea- 

"When the ship is actually in danger, this malady is 
always frightened away; the feelings of the mind 
entirely overpowering those of the body. 

Try to avoid supposing that every fresh gale is a 
violent storm; but confide in the excellence of the 
ship, and the skill of its navigators. Yet, though not 
afraid yourself, remember that others may be so, and 
do not try to show your courage by indulging in undue 


gayety. Mirth is out of place when the sky is over- 
cast with gloom, the wind blowing hard, and the waves 
" running mountains high," and foaming and roaring 
all round the vessel. 

If there is truly a violent tempest, and if the danger 
is real and imminent, trust to that Almighty Power 
who is with you always, — on the sea, and on the land ; 
and silently and fervently implore his protection. 

No captain likes to be teazed with importunities 
concerning the probable length of the passage. You 
may be sure he will do all he can to make it as short 
as possible. In rough weather, refrain from asking, 
whenever you see him, "If there is any danger?" If 
there really is, he will certainly let you know it in 

Endeavour to live harmoniously with your fellow- 
passengers. Avoid such national allusions as may 
give offence to the foreigners. If you find that any 
of them are in the frequent practice of sneering at 
your own country, or speaking of it disrespectfully, 
repress your resentment, resort to no recrimination, 
but refrain from further conversation with that indi- 
vidual, and leave him to the gentlemen. If a female 
foreigner is in the habit of gratuitously abusing 
America, endeavou^ calmly to convince her that her 
ideas of your country are erroneous. If she will not 
be convinced, (as is most likely, if she is an ungenteel 
Englishwoman,) give up the attempt, and leave her to 
herself. If you have a taste for the ridiculous, you 
will regard her prejudices and the expression of them 
only as objects of amusement. 

146 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

Avoid all arguments with a woman of irritable dis- 
position, lest you arc drawn in yourself to defend your 
opinion too warmly. You will soon find whether or 
not you can convince her, or whether she is likely to 
convince you. And it is worse than useless for both 
to continue protracting the argument, when they know 
that the opinion of neither will be shaken. Also, it 
is foolish to keep on repeating the same ideas, with no 
change but in a few of the words. 

Long and turbulent discussions are peculiarly annoy- 
ing on ship-board, particularly in rainy weather, when 
for the weary and pent-up audience, "there's no door 
to creep out." 

It is certainly advisable for every lady on ship- 
board to endeavour to make herself as' agreeable as 
she can, and not to suppose that all her "whims and 
oddities" will be excused because she is suffering "the 
pains and penalties" of the sea, and is therefore not 
"a responsible being." If free from sickness, a lady 
may propose or promote many pleasant little amuse- 
ments and occupations; such as playing children's 
games on deck, or taking a part in chess, chequers, 
and backgammon in the cabin. Ladies sometimes 
form a regular little coterie, for assembling at certain 
hours, and employing themselves in knitting, bead- 
work, light-sewing, &c. while a gentleman reads aloud 
to them in some entertaining book. In the evening, 
vocal concerts will be an agreeable variety, as there 
are always some persons on board who can sing. And 
when the weather is fine, and the ship steadily laying 
her course, a moonlight dance on deck is delightful. 


A young lady should improve the opportunity of 
learning the names of the principal parts of the ship. 
It is a silly boast at the end of the voyage, (and yet 
we have heard such boasts,) to say that you do not 
know the fore-mast from the main-mast ; and that you 
have no idea where the mizen-mast is, much less the 
bow-sprit. And even if a fair damsel should be able 
to distinguish the fore-topsail from the jib, and to 
know even the flying-jib, and have learnt the difference 
between the compass and the quadrant, and the log- 
line and the lead-line, we opine that "the gentlemen" 
will think none the worse of her ; to say nothing of 
the satisfaction it will afford herself to listen with some 
comprehension to talk concerning the ship, and to 
read understandingly a few of the numerous excellent 
novels that treat of "life on the ocean wave." 

If you have, unfortunately, the rude and unamiable 
habit of laughing whenever you see any one get a fall, 
leave it off when on ship-board, — where falls are of 
continual occurrence from the rolling of the vessel, 
and the steepness of the stairs. We never could tell 
why a fall, even on the ice, should be regarded as a 
subject of mirth, when the chance is that it may pro- 
duce a serious hurt, and is always attended with some 
pain or some annoyance at least. Low-bred women 
always say they cannot help laughing at such sights. 
We think ladies ought always to help it, and hasten 
at once to the relief of the sufferer, to ascertain if they 
are hurt 

Be washed and dressed neatly every day. This 



can generally be managed with the assistanee of the 
female servants — even if you are sick. 

A piano never sounds well on ship-board — the cabins 
are too small, and the ceilings too low. To the sick 
and nervous, (and all who are sea-sick become very 
nervous,) this instrument is peculiarly annoying. 
Therefore be kind enough to spare them the annoy- 
ance. You can practise when the weather is finej 
and the invalids are on deck. Pianos have been 
abolished in many of the finest ships. Such instru- 
ments as can be carried on deck, and played in the 
open air, are, on the contrary, very delightful at sea, 
when in the hands of good performers — particularly 
on a moonlight evening. 

In going to England, take with you no American 
reprints of English books, unless you intend leaving 
them on board the ship. If you attempt to land them, 
they will be seized at the custom-house. American 
books by American authors are not prohibited. 

Make no attempt to smuggle any thing. You may 
be detected and disgraced. The risk is too great, 
and the advantage too little. 

When you leave your state-room to sit in the ladies' 
cabin, do not fall to relating the particulars of your 
sickness, or complaining of the smallness of your 
apartment, the rolling of the ship, or the roughness 
of the waves. These inconveniences are unavoidable, 
and must always be expected in a sea- voyage; and 
talking about them too much seems to magnify their 

If there is any deficiency in accommodations or 


attentions, either try as well as you can to do without 
them, or in a kind and considerate manner endeavour 
to obtain them of the servants, if not too inconvenient, 
or against the ship's regulations. 

It is very inconsiderate to have things cooked at 
luncheon time purposely for yourself. Ladies who 
are quite well will sometimes order baked apples, 
stewed prunes, buttered toast, arrow-root, cups of tea 
or coffee, &c, — notwithstanding that the lunch-table 
is always profusely spread with a variety of cold 
articles; and that when dinner is cooking at the same 
time, the small size of the kitchen renders any extra 
preparations very inconvenient to the preparers. 

I ",0 MI 



The practice of inclosing letters in envelopes is now 
universal ; particularly as when the letter is single no 
additional postage is charged for the cover. The 
postage now is in almost every instance pre-paid, ifc 
being but three cents when paid by the writer, and 
five if left to the receiver. Therefore, none but very 
poor or very mean people send unpaid letters. Let- 
ter-stamps for the United States post should be kept 
in a little box on your writing-table. You can get 
them always by sending to the post-office — from a 
dollar's worth or more, down to fifty or twenty-five 
cents' worth, at a time. In a second box, keep stamps 
for the city or penny post, which transmits notes from 
one part of the town to another. And in a third, 
stamps to go on the covers of newspapers. 

Sealing with wax is found to be very insecure for 
letters that are carried by steamers into warm cli- 
mates — the wax melting with the heat, and sticking 
the letters to each other, so that they cannot be 
separated without tearing. Wafers are better. 


It would be very convenient to use the post-office 
stamp as a seal, but the clerks in that establishment 
charge extra postage for the trouble of turning the 
letter to mark the stamp. This subjects the receiver 
to the payment of two additional cents. 

In writing upon business exclusively your own, for 
instance to make a request, to ask for information, to 
petition for a favour, or to solicit an autograph, it is 
but right not only to pay the postage of your own 
letter, but to enclose a stamp for the answer. This is 
always done by really polite and considerate people. 
You have no right, when the benefit is entirely your 
own, to cause any extra expense to the receiver of the 
letter — not even the cost of three cents to pay the 
postage back again. It is enough to tax their fime 
by requiring them to write to you and send off the 
reply. Also, in corresponding with a relative, or very 
intimate friend, to whom even a small expense is of 
more importance than to yourself, you may enclose a 
stamp for the answer. Do so always in writing to 
poor people. Be careful not to allow yourself to get 
entirely out of post-office stamps. Replenish your 
stock in time. If the gum on the back seems too 
weak, go over it afresh with that excellent cement, 
" Perpetual Paste." Embossed or bordered envelopes 
are not often used except in notes of ceremony — or 
when the acquaintance is slight. The same with 
ornamented note-paper. Intimate friends and rela- 
tives use paper that is handsome, but plain. Letters 
of business are generally enclosed in yellow or buff- 
coloured envelopes. Some of these yellow envelopes 
are large enough to contain a folio sheet when folded. 


Notes not to be sent by post, are usually scaled with 
wax — the seal very small. But a small wafer is 
admissible — a white one looks best for a note. In 
folding your note or letter, see that it is not too large 
to go into the envelope. It is customary to write the 
direction on the envelope only. Nevertheless, if ttte 
letter is to go a long distance by post, the envelope 
may be worn off, or torn off accidentally, -or get so 
damaged in the letter-bag as to be rendered illegible. 
The surest and safest way is to put the address 
on the letter also ; or if the sheet is full, to find a 
corner for the direction, either at the beginning or 

We have seen no good letter-paper at less price 
than twenty-five cents per quire; and for that it ought 
to be very good. If of lower cost, you may find it 
soft and fuzzy, so that the pen will not move freely, 
(the nib wearing out directly,) or so thin that you can- 
not write on both sides of the sheet. In/paper, as in 
most other things, the best is the cheapest. If the 
tint is bluish, the writing will not be so legible as on a 
pure white. The surface should&e smooth and glossy. 
For letter writing ruled paper is rarely used, except 
by children. In writing for the press, no other is so 
convenient. A page of ruled lines to slip beneath, is 
indispensable to those who cannot otherwise write 
straight. They are to be had for a few cents at every 
stationer's. It is well to get three different sizes. If 
you write a small hand, the lines should be closer to- 
gether than if your writing is large. If you are 
addressing a friend and have much to say, and expect 


to fill the sheet, begin very near the top of the first 
page. But if jour letter is to be a short one, com- 
mence lower down, several inches from the top. If a 
very short letter of only a few lines, begin but a little 
above the middle of the page. Crossing a letter all 
over with transverse lines is obsolete. It is in- 
tolerable to read, and there is no excuse for it now, 
when postage is so low, and every body pays their 

Write the date near the right-hand side of the first 
page, and place it about two lines higher than the two 
or three words of greeting or accosting with which 
letters usually commence. Begin the first sentence a 
little below those words, and farther toward the right 
than the lines that are to follow. It is well in dating 
every letter to give always your exact residence — that 
is, not only the town you live in, but the number and 
street. If your correspondent has had hut one notifi- 
cation of your present place of abode, she may have 
forgotten the number, and even the street. Your letter 
containing it may not be at hand as a reference, and 
the answer may, in consequence, be misdirected — or 
directed in so vague a manner that it will never reach 
you. We have known much inconvenience (and in- 
deed loss) ensue from not specifying with the date of 
each letter the exact dwelling-place of the writer. 
But if it is always indicated at the top of every one, a 
reference to any one of your letters will furnish your 
proper address. If you are in the country, where 
there are no streets or numbered houses, give tho 
name of the estate and that of the nearest post-town ; 


also the county and state. All this -will occupy a 
long line, but you will find the advantage. If your 
letter fills more than one sheet, number each page. 
Should you have no envelope, leave, on the inside of 
the third page, two blank spaces where the seal is to 
come. These spaces should be left rather too large 
than too small. Lest you should tear the letter in 
breaking it open, it is best to cut round the seal. We 
have seen letters that were actually illegible from the 
paleness of the ink. If you write from your own 
house this is inexcusable, as you ought always to be 
ivell supplied with that indispensable article ; and in a 
city you can easily send to a stationer's and buy it. 
It is still better to make it yourself; than which 
nothing is more easy. The following receipt we know, 
by experience, to be superlative. Try it. 

Buy at a druggist's four ounces of the best blue 
Aleppo nut-galls; half an ounce of green copperas; 
and half an ounce of clean, white gum-arabic. These 
three articles must be pulverized in a mortar. Put 
them into a large, clean, white-ware pitcher, and pour 
on a quart of boiling water. Stir the whole with a 
stick that will reach to the bottom, and set the pitcher 
in a warm place; covering it lightly with a folded 
newspaper. In about an hour, stir it again very 
hard ; and repeat the stirring several times during the 
day. Let it remain in the pitcher several days, or a 
week, till it becomes an excellent black ; the blacken- 
ing will be accelerated by keeping the pitcher in the 
sun; for instance, in a sunny balcony. Stir it, down 
to the bottom, two or three times a day — always with 

LETTERS. 1-5*3 

a stick. Use nothing of -metal in making this ink. 
When it is very black, and writes well, pour it off 
carefully from the bottom, (which must have rested 
undisturbed for two or three hours previous,) passing 
it through a funnel into pint-bottles. Before you 
cork them, put into each a large tea-spoonful of 
brandy, to prevent moulding, or a few drops of 
lavender. A small tea-spoonful of cloves, (slightly 
broken,) placed in the bottom of each bottle, before 
the ink is poured in, will answer the same purpose. 
Scouring the pitcher with soap and sand, after throw- 
ing away the dregs of the ink, will completely clear 
off the stains. 

Ink-stands should be washed out, before they are 
filled anew. 

There is no ink superior to this in blackness or 
smoothness. You can make it at less than half the 
cost of that which you buy in the shops. It looks 
blacker the next day after using, and never fades. 
If it becomes rather too thick, dilute it slightly with 
water, and stir it down to the bottom. 

Never use blue ink. If the letter chances to get 
wet, the writing will be effaced. Serious losses have 
resulted from business letters being written in blue 

If you make a mistake in a word, draw your pen 
through it, or score it so as to be quite illegible, and 
then interline the correction, placing a caret be- 
neath. This will be better than scratching out the 
error with your penknife, and afterward trying to 
Write a new word in the identical place ; an attempt 

1.30 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

which rarely succeeds, even with the aid of pounce- 
powder, which is pulverized gum-sandarac. 

At the end of the letter, somewhat lower than your 
signature, (which should be very near the right-hand 
edge of the page,) add the name and address of the 
person for whom the letter is designed, and to whom 
it will thus find its way, even if the envelope should 
be defaced, or torn off and lost. "Write your own 
name rather larger than your usual hand, and put a 
dot or dash after it. 

Some of the ensuing paragraphs are taken (with 
permission of the publisher) from a former work of 
the author's. 

In folding a letter, let the breadth (from left to 
right) far exceed the height. A letter folded tall is 
ridiculous, and one verging towards squareness looks 
very awkward. It is well to use a folder (or paper- 
knife) to press along the edges of the folds, that they 
may be smooth and straight. If one is looser than 
another, or if there is the slightest narrowing in, or 
widening out, toward the edge of the turn-over, the 
letter will have an irregular, unsightly appearance. 
Pieces of ruled lines may be so cut that you can slip 
them under the back of a letter after it is folded, and 
then you will be in no danger of writing the direction 
crooked, or uneven. 

Write the name of your correspondent about the 
middle of the back, and very clearly and distinctly. 
Then give the number and street on the next line, a 
little nearer to the right. Then the town in large 
letters, extending still nearer to the right. If u 


country-town, give next (in letters a little smaller) 
the name of the county in which it is situated. This 
is very necessary, as in some of our states there is 
more than one town of the same name, and " Wash- 
ingtons" all over the Union. Lastly, at the very 
bottom, and close to the right, indicate the state 
or district by its usual abbreviation, — for instance, 
Me. for Maine*— iV. H. New Hampshire— Vt. Ver- 
mont — Mass. Massachusetts — R. I. Rhode Island — 
Ot. or Conn. Connecticut — N". Y. New York — N. J. 
New Jersey — Pa. or Penna. Pennsylvania — Del. Dela- 
ware— Md. Maryland — Va. Virginia — JSF. 0. North 
Carolina — S. O. South Carolina — Gra. or Greo. Georgia 
— Ala. Alabama — Miss. Mississippi — Mo. Missouri — 
La. Louisiana — Tenn. Tennessee — Ky. Kentucky — 
0. Ohio — Ind. Indiana — III. Illinois — Mich. Michi- 
gan — Ark. Arkansas — Wis. Wisconsin — Io. Iowa — 
Tex. Texas— Flo. Florida— Qal. California— Or. Ore- 
gon — Minn. Minnesota — Utah — D. C. District of Co- 

To these may be added the abbreviations of the 
British possessions in North America: U. Q. Upper 
Canada — L. O. Lower Canada — W. S. Nova Scotia — 
iV. B. New Brunswick — N. P. New Providence. 

In directing a letter to a foreign country, give the 
whole name, as France, Spain, Belgium, England, 
Ireland, Scotland, &c. We have towns in America 
called after all manner of European towns. For in- 

* When the name of the state is short, you may give all the 
letters that compose it, a& Maine — Ohio — Iowa — Texas — Utah. 


stance, a letter directed to our Havre-de-Grace, might, 
If Maryland was not designated, find its way to Havre- 
de-Grace in France ; Rome in the state of New York 
might be taken to Rome in Italy, — York in Pennsyl- 
vania to York in England, &c. We know an instance 
of a gentleman directing an important letter to Boston, 
and, forgetting to add Mass. (for Massachusetts) at the 
bottom, the letter actually went from Philadelphia to 
the small town of Boston in Lincolnshire, England. 
In writing from Europe, finish the direction with the 
words United States of North America. 

"When you send a letter by a private opportunity, (a 
thing which is already almost obsolete since the days 
of cheap postage,) it will be sufficient to introduce very 
near the lower edge of the left-hand corner of the 
back, simply the name of the gentleman who carries 
it, written small. It is now considered old-fashioned 
to insert on the back of such a letter — "Politeness of 
Mr. Smith" — "Favoured by Mr. Jones" — "Honoured 
by Mr. Brown." If the letter is to cross the sea, by 
mail or otherwise, write the name of the vessel on the 
left-hand corner of the outside. 

When a letter is to go to New York city, always 
put the words New York in full, (and not N. Y.,) 
written large. Much confusion is caused by the name 
of this state and its metropolis being the same. It 
has been well-suggested that the name of the state of 
New York should be changed to Ontario — a beautiful 
change. In directing to any of the towns in the state 
of New York, then put N. Y. after the name of the 
town, as Hudson, N. Y., — Syracuse, N. Y., &c. 

LETTER-. I 5^ 

In sending a letter to the metropolis of the Union, 
direct for Washington, D. C. 

In directing to a clergyman, put Rev. ("Reverend) 
before his name. If a bishop, Right Reverend. To 
an officer, immediately after his name put U. S. A. for 
United States Army, or U. S. N. for United States 
Navy — having preceded his name with Gen., Col., 
Gapt., Lieut., according to his rank. 

The title Hon. (Honourable) is always used in 
directing to a member of congress, a member of the 
cabinet, a judge of the supreme court, an ambassador, 
or the governor of a state. For the Chief Magistrate 
of the Union, you may direct simply to the President 
of the United States. The term "Excellency" is now 
but little used. 

For a gentleman holding a professorship in a uni- 
versity, preface his name with Prof, or Professor. 
The title of "Professor" does not really belong to all 
raenVho teach any thing, or to every man that ex- 
hibits a show — or to mesmerists, and spiritual knock- 
ers. Do not give it to them. 

For sealing letters no light is so convenient as a 
wax taper in a low stand. A lamp, or candle, may 
smoke or blacken the wax. To seal well, your wax 
should be of the finest quality. Red wax of a bright 
scarlet colour is the best. Low-priced wax consumes 
very fast ; and when melted, looks purplish or brown- 
ish. When going to melt sealing-wax, rest your elbow 
on the table to keep your hand steady. Take the 
stick of wax between your thumb and finger, and hold 
it a little above the light, so that it barely touches the 


point of the flame. Turn the stick round till it is 
equally softened on all sides. Then insert a little of 
the melted wax under the turn-over part of the letter, 
just where the seal is to come. This will render it 
more secure than if the sole dependence was on the 
outside seal. Or instead of this little touch of wax, 
you may slip beneath the turn-over a small wafer, 
either white or of the same colour as the wax. Then 
begin at the outer edge of the place you intend for 
the seal; and move the wax in a circle, which must 
gradually dimmish till it terminates in the centre. 
Put the seal exactly to the middle of the soft wax, 
and press it down hard, but do not screw it round. 
Then withdraw it suddenly. Do not use motto seals 
unless writing to a member of your own family, or to 
an intimate friend. For common service, (and particu- 
larly for letters of business,) a plain seal, with simply 
your initials, is best. 

For a note always use a very small seal. In ad- 
dressing one of your own family, it is not necessary to 
follow scrupulously all these observances. In writing 
to persons decidedly your inferiors in station, avoid 
the probability of mortifying them by sending mean, 
ill-looking notes. 

Remember also (what, strange to say, some people 
calling themselves ladies seem not to know) that a 
note commenced in the first person must continue in 
the first person all through. The same when it begins 
in the third person. We have heard of invitations to 
a party being worded thus : — 


Mrs. Welford's compliments to Mrs. Marley, an<> 
requests the pleasure of her company on Thursday 

Yours sincerely, 

E. Weleord. 

Notes of invitation should always designate both the 
day of the week and that of the month. If that of 
the month only is specified, one figure may perhaps be 
mistaken for another; for instance, the 13th may look 
like the 18th, or the 25th like the 26th. We know 
instances where, from this cause, some Of the guests 
did not come till the night after the party. 

There are some very sensible people who, in their 
invitations, tell frankly what is to be expected, and if 
they really ask but a few friends, they at once give 
the names of those friends, so that you may know 
whom you are to see. If you are to meet no more 
than can sit round the tea-table, they signify the 
same. If they expect twenty, thirty, or forty persons, 
they say so — and do not leave you in doubt whether 
to dress for something very like a party, or for a mere 
family tea-drinking. 

If it is a decided music-party, by all means specify 
the same, that those who have no enjoyment of what 
is considered fashionable music, may stay away. 

Always reply to a note of invitation the day after 
you have received it. To a note on business send an 
answer the same day. After accepting an invitation, 
should any thing occur to prevent your going, send a 
second note in due time. 

not take" offence al ;i friend because she 

T .. invite you every time she has company. He 
gard for you may be as warm as ever, but it is proba- 
bly inconvenient for her to have more than a certain 
number at a time. Believe that the omission is no 
evidence of neglect, or of a desire to offend you; but 
rest assured that you arc to be invited on other occa- 
sions. If you are not, then indeed you may take it 
as a hint that she is no longer desirous of continuing 
the acquaintance. Be dignified enough not to call 
her to account; but cease visiting her, without taking 
her to task and bringing on a quarrel. But if you 
must quarrel, let it not be in writing. A paper war 
is always carried too far, and produces bitterness of 
feeling which is seldom entirely eradicated, even after 
apologies have been made and accepted. Still, when 
an offence has been given in writing, the atonement 
should be made in writing also. 

Much time is wasted (particularly by young ladies) 
in writing and answering such epistles as are termed 
"letters of friendship," — meaning long documents 
(frequently with crossed lines) filled with regrets at 
absence, asseverations of eternal affection, modest 
deprecations of your humble self, and enthusiastic 
glorifyings of your exalted correspondent; or else 
wonderments at both of you being so much alike, and 
so very congenial; and anticipations of rapture at 
meeting again, and lamentations at the slow progress 
of time, till the extatic hour of re-union shall arrive — 
the postscript usually containing some confidential 
allusion to a lover, (either real or supposed,) and per- 


haps a kind enquiry about a real or supposed lover of 
jour friend's. 

Now such letters as these are of no manner of use 
but to foster a sickly, morbid feeling, (very often a 
fictitious one,) and to encourage nonsense, and destroy 
all relish for such true friendship as is good and whole- 

A still worse species of voluminous female corre- 
spondence is that which turns entirely upon love, or 
rather on what are called " beaux;" or entirely on 
hate — for instance, hatred of step-mothers. This 
topic is considered the more piquant from its impro- 
priety, and from its being carried on in secret. 

Then there are young ladies born with the organ 
of letter-writing amazingly developed, and increased 
by perpetual practice, who can scarcely become ac- 
quainted with a gentleman possessing brains, without 
volunteering a correspondence with him. And then 
ensues a long epistolary dialogue about nothing, or at 
least nothing worth reading or remembering; trench- 
ing closely on gallantry, but still not quite that; 
affected flippancy on the part of the lady; and un- 
affected impertinence on that of the gentleman, "which 
serves her right" — alternating with pretended pout- 
ings on her side, and half or whole-laughing apologies 
on his. Sometimes there are attempts at moralizing, 
or criticising, or sentimentalizing — but nothing is ever 
elicited that, to a third person, can afford the least 
amusement or improvement, or excite the least interest. 
Yet, strange to say, gentlemen have been inveigled 
mro this sort of correspondence, even by ladies who 


have made a business of afterward selling bhe l< 

for publication, and making money out 6f them. And 

such epistles have actually been printed. We do not 

suppose they have been read. The public is very 
stubborn in refusing to read what neither am 
interests, or improves — even when a publisher is ac- 
tually so weak as to print such things. 

No young lady ever engages in a correspondence 
with a gentleman that is neither her relative or her 
betrothed, without eventually lessening herself in his 
eyes. Of this she may rest assured. With some 
men, it is even dangerous for- a lady to write a 
note on the commonest subject. He may show the 
superscription, or the signature, or both, to his idle 
companions, and make insinuations much to her disad- 
vantage, which his comrades will be sure to circulate 
and exaggerate. 

Above -all, let no lady correspond with a married 
man, unless she is obliged to consult him on business; 
and from that plain, straight path let her not diverge. 
Even if the wife sees and reads every letter, she will, 
in all probability, feel a touch of jealousy, (or more 
than a touch,) if she finds that they excite interest in 
her husband, or give him pleasure. This will inevita- 
bly be the case if the married lady is inferior in 
intellect to the single one, and has a lurking conscious- 
ness that she is so. 

Having hinted what the correspondence of young 
ladies ought not to be, we will try to convey some idea 
of what it ought. Let us premise that there is no 
danger of any errors in grammar or spelling, and but 


few faults of punctuation, and that the fair writers are 
aware that a sentence should always conclude with a 
period or full stop, to be followed by a capital letter 
beginning the next sentence; and that a new para- 
graph should be allotted to every change of subject, 
provided that there is room on the sheet of paper. 
And still, it is well to have always at hand a diction- 
ary and a grammar, in case of unaccountable lapses 
of memory. However, persons who have read much, 
and read to advantage, generally find themselves at no 
loss in orthography, grammar, and punctuation. To 
spell badly is disgraceful in a lady or gentleman, and 
it looks as if they had quitted reading as soon as they 
quitted school. 

•To write a legible and handsome hand is an accom- 
plishment not sufficiently valued. And yet of what 
importance it is ! We are always vexed when we hear 
people of talent making a sort of boast of the illegi- 
bility of their writing, and relating anecdotes of the 
difficulty with which it has been read, and the mistakes 
made by its decipherers. There are persons who 
affect bad writing, and boast of it, because the 
worst signatures extant are those of Shakspeare, 
Bonaparte, and Byron. These men were great in 
spite of their autographs, not because of them. The 
caliph Haroun Alraschid, who was well imbued with 
Arabic learning, sent an elegantly written letter to 
Charlemagne, with a splendid cover and seals; not 
being aware that the European emperor's signature 
was made by dipping his thumb into the ink and 
giving a smear — sealing with the hilt of his dagger. 

166 3 BEfl IVI01 R J- K. 

The "wording" of your letter should be aa much 
like conversation as possible, containing (in a con- 
densed form) just what you would be most likely to 
talk about if you saw your friend. A letter is of no 
use unless it conveys some information, excites some 
interest, or affords some improvement. It may be 
handsomely written, correct in spelling, punctuation, 
and grammar, and yet stiff and formal in style — 
affectedly didactic, and therefore tiresome — or mawk- 
ishly sentimental, and therefore foolish. It may be 
refined, or high-flown in words, but flat and barren in 
ideas, containing nothing that a correspondent cares 
to know. 

Read over each page of your letter, as you finish it, 
to see that there are no errors. If you find any, 
correct them carefully. In writing a familiar letter, 
a very common fault is tautology, or a too frequent 
repetition of the same word — for instance, "Yesterday 
I received a letter from sister Mary, which was the 
first letter I have received from sister since she left." 
The sentence should be, "Yesterday I received a 
letter from my sister Mary, the first since she left us." 

Unless you are writing to one of your own family, 
put always the pronoun "my" before the word 
" sister." Say also — " my father," " my mother," and 
not "father," "mother," as if they were also the 
parents of your correspondent. 

To end the sentence with the word "left," (for de- 
parted,) is awkward and unsatisfactory — for instance, 
"It is two days since he left." Left what? It ia 
one of the absurd innovations that have crept in 


among us of late years, and are supposed to be 
fashionable. Another is the ridiculous way of omit- 
ting the possessive S in words ending with that letter ; 
for instance, "Sims' Hotel" instead of "Sims's Hotel" 
— "Jenkins' Bakery" for "Jenkins's Bakery." Would 
any one, in talking, say they had stayed at Sims' Hotel, 
or that they bought their bread at Jenkins' Bakery. 
This is ungrammatical, as it obliterates the possessive 
case, and is therefore indefinite; and moreover, it 
looks and sounds awkwardly. 

Many persons who think themselves good gram- 
marians put on their cards "The Misses Brown," — 
"The Misses Smith." Those who really are so, write 
"The Miss Browns"— "The Miss Smiths"— the plural 
being always on the substantive, and never on ' the 
adjective. Would we say "the whites glove" instead 
of "the white gloves" — or the "blues ribbon" for the 
"blue ribbons." Does any lady in talking say, "The 
two Misses Brown called to see me?" 

It is also wrong to say "two spoonsful," instead of 
two spoonfuls. I'hus, "two spoonsfulof milk" seems 
to imply two separate spoons with milk in each ; while 
" two spoonfuls of milk" gives the true idea^-one 
spoon twice filled. 

Avoid in writing, as in talking, all words that do 
not express the true»meaning. We are sorry to say 
that sometimes even among educated people, when 
attempting smartness or wit, we find a sort of con- 
ventional slang that has, in truth, a strong tinge of 
vulgarity, being the wilful substitution of bad words 
or bad phrases for good ones. When we find them 

ICjS miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

issuing from the lips or the pen of a lady, we fear she 
is unfortunate in a reprobate husband, or brother, 
from whom she must have learnt them. Yet even 
reprobates dislike to hear their wives and sisters talk- 
ing coarsely. 

Unless you know that your correspondent is well 
versed in French, refrain from interlarding your letters 
with Gallic words or phrases. 

Do not introduce long quotations from poetry. 
Three or four lines of verse are sufficient. One line, 
or two, are better still. Write them rather smaller 
than your usual hand, and leave a space at the begin- 
ning and end; marking their commencement and 
termination with inverted commas, thus " ". 

One of our young relatives when seven or eight 
years old, tried her hand at story-writing. In finish- 
ing the history of a naughty girl, much addicted to 
falsehood, the terminating sentence ran thus : — 

"Arabella did not cure herself of this fault; but 
when she grew up, and became an authoress, she never 
marked her quotations." 

If your letter is longer than ean be comprised in 
one sheet, number the pages, placing the number near 
the upper corner. If engaged in a regular correspond- 
ence on business or o^her things, or in writing from a 
foreign country to your family at home, number not 
only the pages, but the letter itself, putting that figure 
in the centre at the top of the first page. Thus, if 
your friend, having received No. 10, finds the next 
letter that comes to hand is No. 12, she will know 
that No. 11 is missing, and will tell you so in her 


reply. Keep a memorandum of the letters you have 
sent, that you may know how to number the next. 
Before commencing a long letter, it is well to put 
down on a slip of paper, a list of the subjects you 
intend to write on. 

Unless to persons living in the same house, do not 
inclose one letter in another. And even then, it is 
not always safe to do so. Let each letter be trans- 
mitted on its own account, by mail, with its own full 
direction, and its own pbst-office stamp. We know ai 
instance where the peace of a family was entirely 
ruined by one of its members suppressing enclosed 
letters. Confide to no one the delivery of an important 
letter intended for another person. It is better to 
trust to the mail, and send a duplicate by the next 

To break the seal of a letter directed to another 
person is punishable by law. To read secretly the 
letter of another is morally as felonious. A woman 
who would act thus meanly is worse than those who 
apply their eyes or ears to key-holes, or door-cracks, 
or who listen under windows, or look down from attics 
upon their neighbours; or who, in a dusky parlour, 
before the lamps are lighted, ensconce themselves in a 
corner, and give no note of their presence while listen- 
ing to a conversation not intended for them to hear. 

We do not conceive that, unless he, authorizes her 
to do so, (which he had best not,) a wife is justifiable 
in opening her husband's letters, or he in reading hers. 
Neither wife nor husband has any right to entrust to 
the other the secrets of their friends ; and letters mav 

170 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

contain such secrets. Unless under extraordinary 
circumstances, parents should not consider themselves 
privileged to inspect the correspondence of grown-up 
children. Brothers and sisters always take care that 
their epistles shall not be unceremoniously opened by 
each other. In short, a letter is the property of the 
person to whom it is addressed, and nobody has a 
right to read it without permission. 

If you are shown an autograph signature at the 
bottom of a letter, be satisfied to look at that only ; 
and do not open out, and read the whole — unless de- 

Some years ago, in one of our most popular maga- 
zines, were several pages containing fac-simile signa- 
tures of a number of distinguished literary women — 
P chiefly English. We saw an original letter, from a 
lady, who complained that some mischievous person 
had taken her magazine out of the post-office before it 
reached her, and shamefully scribbled ivomens names 
in it, disfiguring it so as to render it unfit for binding ; 
therefore she desired the publisher to send her a clean 
copy in place of*. 

In putting up packets to send away, either tie them 
round and across, with red tape, (sealing them also 
where the tape Glasses,) or seal them without any 
tape. If the paper is strong, the wax good, and the 
contents of the parcel not too heavy, sealing will in 
most cases be sufficient. Twine or cord may cut the 
paper, and therefore is best omitted. Never put up a 
parcel in newspaper. It looks mean and disrespectful, 
and will soil the arflclcs inside. 


Keep yourself provided with different sorts and 
sizes of wrapping-paper. 

A large packet requires more than one seal; the 
seals rather larger than for a letter. 

Put up newspapers, for transmission, in thin wnitish 
or brownish paper, pasting the cover, and leaving one 
end open. Newspaper-stamps cost but one cent, and 
are indispensable to the transmission of the paper. 

Avoid giving letters of introduction to people whose 
acquaintance cannot possibly afford any pleasure or 
advantage to those whose civilities are desired for 
them, or who have not leisure to attend to strangers. 
Artists, authors, and all other persons to whom "time 
is money," and whose income stops whenever their 
hands and eyes are unemployed, are peculiarly an- 
noyed by the frequency of introductory letters, brought^ 
by people with whom they can feel no congeniality, 
• and whom they never would have sought for. Among 
the children of genius, but fe"^re in a situation to 
entertain strangers handsomely, a3 it is called, which 
means, expensively. N Many are kept always in strait- 
ened circumstances, from the incessant demands on 
their time and attention. And in numerous instances, 
letters are asked and given with no better motive than 
the gratification of idle curiosity. 

We advise all persons obtaining an introductory 
letter to a painter, to ascertain, before presenting it, 
what branch of the art he professes. We have been 
asked whether a certain artist (one of the most dis- 
tinguished in London) painted "figures, flowers, or 
landscapes.'' Also, no one should presume to request 

172 miss Leslie's behaviour look. 

an introduction to an authoress, if they are ignorant 
whether she writes prose or verse. Not that they are 
expected to talk to her, immediately, on literary sub- 
jects. Far from it; but if they know nothing of her 
works, they deserve no letter. In America, books, or 
at least newspapers, are accessible to all who can read. 

Bores are peculiarly addicted to asking letters of 
introduction, in accordance with their system of "be- 
stowing their tediousness" upon as many people as 
possible. "We pity the kind friends from whom these 
missives are required, and who have not courage to 
refuse, or address enough to excuse themselves plausi- 
bly from complying. 

ATe have known instances of stupid, vulgar persons, 
on preparing to visit another city, obtaining letters to 
families of the really highest class, and receiving from 
them the usual civilities, which they knew not how to 

On the other hand, how pleasant it is, by means of 
an introductory letter, to bring together two kindred 
spirits, whose personal intercourse must inevitably 
produce mutual satisfaction, who are glad to know 
each other, glad to meet frequently, and grateful to 
the friend who has made them acquainted. 

Letters of introduction should not be sealed. To 
do so is rude, and meam If you wish' to write on the 
same day to the same person, take another sheet, 
write as long an epistle as you please, seal it, and 
send it by mail. 

It is best to deliver an introductory letter in per- 
son, as the lady or gentleman whose civilities have*. 

LETTERS. „ 173 

been requested in your behalf, may thus be spared the 
trouble of calling at your lodgings, with the risk of 
not finding you at home. This is very likely to 
happen, if you send instead of taking it yourself. If 
you do send it, enclose a card with your residence. 
Also, it is more respectful to go yourself, than to 
expect them to come to you. 

As soon as you are shown into the parlour, send up 
the letter, and wait till the receiver comes to you. 

When a letter is brought to you by a private hand, 
the usual ceremony is to defer reading it till the 
bringer has departed, unless he desires you to read it 
at once, which he will, if it is evidently a short letter. 
If a long one, request him to excuse you a moment 
while you look at the beginning, to see if your corre-~ 
Bpondent is well. 

On farewell cards, it is usual to write with a pencil 
the letters " t. t. 1.," "to take leave" — or "p. p. c," 
" pour prendre conge." A lady complained to us 
that an acquaintance of hers, about to leave town, had 
left a card for her with " p. d. a." upon it. Not under- 
standing the meaning of these letters, she had applied 
to a friend for explanation, who told her they meant 
"poor dear adieu." "Now," continued she — "I can- 
not understand why a mere acquaintance should be so 
familiar as to call me ' poor dear ;' why am I a poor 
dear to her?" We relieved her by explaining that 
"pour dire adieu" was French for "to bid adieu." 

To conclude — let nothing induce you to give a letter 
of introduction to any person whose moral character ig 

174 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 



Having accepted a present, it is your duty, and 
ought to be your pleasure, to let the giver see that you 
make use of it as intended, and that it is not thrown 
away upon you. If it is an article of dress, or of 
personal decoration, take occasion, on the first suitable 
opportunity, to wear it in presence of the giver. If 
an ornament for the centre-table, or the mantel-piece, 
place it there. If a book, do not delay reading it. 
Afterward, speak of it to her as favourably as you 
can. If of fruit or flowers, refer to them the next 
time you see her. 

In all cases, when a gift is sent to you, return a note 
of thanks ; or at least a verbal message to that effect. 

Never enquire of the giver what was the price of 
her gift, or where she bought it. To do so is con- 
sidered exceedingly rude. 

When an article is presented to you for a specified 
purpose, it is your duty to use it for that purpose, and 
for no other, according to the wish of the donor. It 
is mean and dishonourable to give away a present ; at 
least without first obtaining permission from the ori- 
ginal giver. You have no right to be liberal or gene- 
rous at the expense of another, or to accept a gift with 


a secret determination to bestow it yourself on some- 
body else. If it is an article that you do not want, 
that you possess already, or that you cannot use for 
yourself, it is best to say so candidly, at once; ex- 
pressing your thanks for the offer, and requesting 
your friend to keep it for some other person to whom 
it will be advantageous. It is fit that the purchaser 
of the gift should have the pleasure of doing a kind- 
ness with her own hand, and eliciting the gratitude of 
one whom she knows herself. It is paltry in you to 
deprive her of this pleasure, by first accepting a present, 
and then secretly giving it away as from yourself. 

There are instances of women whose circumstances 
did not allow them to indulge often in delicacies, that 
on a present of early fruit, or some other nice thing 
being sent to them by a kind friend, have ostenta- 
tiously transferred the gift to a wealthy neighbour, 
with a view of having it supposed that they had 
bought it themselves, and that to them such things 
were no rarities. This is contemptible — but it is some- 
times done. 

Making a valuable present to a rich person is in 
most cases, a work of supererogation ; unless the gift 
is of something rare or unique, which cannot be pur- 
chased, and which may be seen and used to more 
advantage at the house of your friend than while in 
your own possession. But to give an expensive article 
of dress, jewellery, or furniture to one whose means 
of buying such things are quite equal (if not superior) 
to your own, is an absurdity; though not a very 
uncommon one, as society is now constituted. Such 

170 MISS "K. 

gifts elicit do real gratitude, for in all probability, 

they may not suit the pampered taste of to 
whom fine things are no novelties. Or they may be 
regarded (however unjustly) as baits or nets to catch, 
in return, something of still greater cost. 

There are persons, who, believing that presents are 
generally made with some mercenary view, and being 
unwilling themselves to receive favours, or incur obliga- 
tions, make a point of repaying them as soon as possi- 
ble, by a gift of something equivalent. This at once 
implies that they suspect the motive. If sincere in 
her friendship, the donor of the first present will feel 
hurt at being directly paid for it, and consider that 
she has been treated rudely, and unjustly. On the 
other hand, if compensation was secretly desired, and 
really expected, she will be disappointed at receiving 
nothing in return. Therefore, we repeat, that among 
persons who can conveniently provide themselves with 
whatever they may desire, the bestowal of presents is 
generally a most unthankful business. If you are in 
opulent circumstances, it is best to limit your gene- 
rosity to such friends only as do not abouifd in the 
gifts of fortune, and whose situation denies them the 
means of indulging their tastes. By them such acts 
of kindness will be duly appreciated, and gratefully 
remembered; and the article presented will have a 
double value, if it is to them a novelty. 

Gratitude is a very pleasant sensation, both for those 
who feel and to those who excite it. No one who 
confers a favour can say with truth, that "they want 
no thanks." They always do. 


We know not why, when a young lady of fortune is 
going to be married, her friends should all be expected 
to present her with bridal gifts. It is a custom that 
sometimes bears heavily on those whose condition 
allows them but little to spare. And from that little 
it may be very hard for them to squeeze out enough 
to purchase some superfluous ornament, or some bauble 
for a centre-table, when it is already glittering with 
the gifts of the opulent ; — gifts lavished on one who is 
really in no need of such things ; and whose marriage 
confers no benefit on any one but herself. Why should 
she be rewarded for gratifying her own inclination in 
marrying the man of her choice? Now that it is 
fashionable to display all the wedding-gifts arranged 
in due form on tables, and labelled with the names of 
the donors, the seeming necessity of giving something 
expensive, or at least elegant, has becom* more onerous 
than ever. For instance, poor Miss Cassin can barely 
afford a simple brooch that costs about five dollars; 
but she strains the utmost capacity of her slender purse 
to buy one at ten dollars, that it may not disgrace the 
brilliant assemblage of jewellery that glitters on the 
bridal table of her wealthy friend Miss Denham. And 
after all, she finds that her modest little trinket looks 
really contemptible beside the diamond pin given by 
Mrs. Farley the millionaire. After all, she sees 
no one notice it, and hears no one say that it is even 
neat and pretty. To be sure, the bride, when it was 
sent with a note on the preceding day, did vouchsafe 
a polite answer. But then, if poor Miss C. does not 
make a wedding present to rich Miss D., it might be 


supposed that Miss C. cannot afford it. Neither she 
can. And her making the effort elicits perhaps some 
satirical remarks, that would be very mortifying to 
Miss Cassin if she heard them. 

We repeat, that we cannot exactly perceive why, 
when the union of a couple of lovers, in many cases, 
adds to the happiness, honour, and glory of the married 
pair alone, their friends should think it a duty to levy 
on themselves these contributions; so often inconve- 
nient to the givers, and not much cared for by the 

When the young couple are not abounding in what 
are called "the goods of this world," the case is 
altered; and it may then be an act of real kindness 
for the opulent friends of the bride to present her 
with any handsome article of dress, or of furniture, 
that they think will be acceptable. What we contend 
is, that on a marriage in a wealthy family, the making 
of presents should be confined to the immediate rela- 
tives of the lady, and only to such of them as can well 
afford it. 

Much of the money wasted in making ostentatious 
gifts to brides whose fathers have already given them 
a splendid outfit, might be far better employed, in 
assisting to purchase the trousseaus and the furniture 
of deserving young women in humble life, on their 
marriage with respectable tradesmen or mechanics. 
How many ladies of fortune have it in their power to 
do this — yet how seldom it is done ! 

At christenings, it is fortunately the sponsors only 
that are expected to make gifts to the infant. There- 

PRESENT?. 179 

fore, invite no persons as sponsors, who cannot well 
afford this expense; unless you are sufficiently inti- 
mate to request them, privately, not to comply with 
the custom; being unwilling that they should cause 
themselves inconvenience by doing so. 

The presentation of Christmas and New-Year's gifts 
is often a severe tax on persons with whom money is 
not plenty. It would be well if it were the universal 
custom to expect and receive no presents from any but 
the rich. 

In making gifts to children, choose for them only 
such things as will afford them somewhat of lasting 
amusement. For boys, kites, tops, balls, marbles, 
wheelbarrows, carts, gardening utensils, and car- 
penter's tools, &c. Showy toys, that are merely to 
look at, and from which they can derive no enjoyment 
but in breaking them to pieces, are not worth buying. 
Little girls delight in little tea-sets, and dinner-sets, 
in which they can "make feasts," miniature kitchen- 
utensils, to play at cooking, washing, &c. ; and dolls so 
dressed that all the clothes can be taken off and put 
on at pleasure. They soon grow tired of a doll whose 
glittering habiliments are sewed fast upon her. A 
wax doll in elegant attire is too precarious and expen- 
sive a plaything to make them happy; as they are 
always afraid of injuring her. We knew a little girl 
for whom a magnificent wax doll, splendidly dressed, 
was brought from France ; and for an hour she was 
highly delighted. But next morning she was found 
still more happy in carrying about her favourite baby, 
a sofa-pillow, with an old shawl pinned round it for a 


frock; feeling perfect freedom to toss it about as slio 
pleased. Children like their doll-babies to be very 
substantial, and rather heavy than light. A large, well- 
made rag-doll is for a small child far better than any 
other — occasionally putting a clean new face upon it. 

We have seen country children perfectly satisfied 
with a doll that was nothing but a hard ear of Indian 
corn, arrayed in a coarse towel pinned round it. A 
little farm-house boy, of three years old, made a pet 
of a large squash, which he dressed in a pocket-hand- 
kerchief, and called Phebe Ann. We heard him say, 
as he passed his hand over its lumpy neck, "Poor 
Phebe Ann! what hives she has!" 

To an intelligent child, no gifts are so valuable as 
entertaining books — provided they really are enter- 
taining. Children are generally wise enough to prefer 
an amusing book in a plain cover, to a dull one shining 
with gold. When children are able to read fluently, 
they lose much of their desire for mere picture-books. 
If the cuts are badly executed, and give ugly, disa- 
greeable ideas of the characters in the stories, they 
only trouble and annoy the little readers, instead of 
pleasing them. ' Some of the most popular juvenile 
books have no pictures inside, and no gilding outside. 
Bad engravings, (beside uselessly enhancing the price,) 
spoil the taste of the children. We highly recom- 
mend to the publishers of juvenile books to omit the 
cuts entirely, if they cannot afford very good ones. 
Many children have better judgment in these things 
than their parents suppose ; and some of them more 
than the parents themselves. 


Children have less enjoyment than is supposed in 
being taken to shops to choose gifts for themselves, or 
even in laying out their own money. It is always a 
long time before they can decide on what to buy, and 
as soon as they have fixed upon one thing, they imme- 
diately see something they like better. And often, 
after getting home, they are dissatisfied with their 
choice, and sorry they bought it. Also, they fre- 
quently wear out the patience of the shopkeepers; 
being desirous of seeing every thing, and pondering 
so long before they can determine on buying any 

It is every way better to go to the shops without 
them, buy what you think proper, and then give them 
an agreeable surprise by the presentation. 

Young ladies should be careful how they accept 
presents from gentlemen. No truly modest and 
dignified woman will incur such obligations. And 
no gentleman who really respects her will offer her 
any thing more than a bouquet, a book, one or two 
autographs of distinguished persons, or a few relics or 
mementos of memorable places — things that derive 
their chief value from associations. But to present a 
young lady with articles of jewellery, or of dress, or 
with a costly ornament for the centre-table, (unless 
she is his affianced wife,) ought to be regarded as an 
offence, rather than a compliment, excusable only in 
a man sadly ignorant of the refinements of society. 
And if he is so, she should set him right, and civilly, 
but firmly, refuse to be his debtor. 

Yet, we are sorry to say, that there are ladies so 

182 miss Leslies behavioub book. 

rapacious, and so mean, that they are not ashamed to 
give broad hints to gentlemen, (particularly those 
gentlemen who are either very young or very old,) 
regarding certain beautiful card-cases, bracelets, es- 
sence-bottles, &c. which they have seen and admired, — 
tven going so far as to fall in love with elegant shawls, 
scarfs, splendid fans, and embroidered handkerchiefs. 
And their admiration is so violent, and so reiterated, 
that the gentleman knows not how to resist; he 
therefore puts them in possession of a gift far too 
costly for any woman of delicacy to accept. In such 
cases, the father or mother of the young lady should 
oblige her to return the present. This has been done. 

There are ladies who keep themselves supplied with 
certain articles of finery, (for instance, white kid 
gloves,) by laying ridiculous wagers with gentlemen, 
knowing that, whether winning or losing, the gentle- 
man, out of gallantry, always pays. No lady should 
ever lay wagers, even with one of her own sex. It is 
foolish and unfeminine — and no man likes her any 
the better for indulging in the practice. 

Some young ladies, who profess a sort of daughterly 
regard for certain wealthy old gentlemen, are so kind 
as to knit purses or work slippers for them, or some 
other nick-nacks, (provided always that the "dear old 
man" has a character for generosity,) for they know 
that he will reward them by a handsome present of 
some bijou of real value. And yet they may be 
assured that the kind old gentleman (whom "they 
mind no more than if he was their pa") sees through 
the whole plan, knows why the purse was knit, or 


the slippers worked, and esteems the kind young lady 

Another, and highly reprehensible way of extorting 
a gift, is to have what is called a philopena with a 
gentleman. This very silly joke is when a young 
lady, in cracking almonds, chances to find two kernels 
in one shell ; she shares them with a beau ; which ever 
first calls out "philopena," on their next meeting, is 
entitled to receive a present from the other ; and she is 
to remind him of it till he remembers to comply. So 
much nonsense is often talked on the occasion, that it 
seems to expand into something of importance ; and 
the gentleman thinks he can do no less, than purchase 
for the lady something very elegant, or valuable; 
particularly if he has heard her tell of the munificence 
of other beaux in their philopenas. 

There is great want of delicacy and self-respect in 
philopenaism, and no lady who has a proper sense of 
her dignity as a lady will engage in any thing of the sort. 

In presenting a dress to a friend whose circum- 
stances are not so affluent as your own, and who you 
know will gladly receive it, select one of excellent 
quality, and of a colour that you think she will like. 
She will feel mortified, if you give her one that is low- 
priced, flimsy, and of an unbecoming tint. Get an 
ample quantity, so as to allow a piece to be cut off 
and laid by for a new body and sleeves, when neces- 
sary. And to make the gift complete, buy linen for 
the body-lining ; stiff, glazed muslin for the facings ; 
buttons, sewing-silk, and whatever else may be wanted. 
This will save her the cost of these things. 


When you give a dress to a poor woman, it is far 
better to buy for her a substantial new one, than u 
bestow on her an old thin gown of your own. The 
poor have little leisure to sew for themselves; and 
second-hand fine clothes last them but a very short 
time before they are fit only for the rag-bag. 

If you are going to have a party, and among your 
very intimate friends is one whose circumstances will 
not permit her to incur the expense of buying a hand- 
some new dress for the occasion, and if she has no 
choice but to stay away, or to appear in a costume very 
inferior to that of the other ladies, you may (if you 
can well afford it) obviate this difficulty by presenting 
her with a proper dress-pattern, and other accessories. 
This may be managed anonymously, but it will be 
better to do it with her knowledge. It will be a very 
gratifying mark of your friendship; and she ought to 
consider it as such, and not refuse it from a feeling of 
false pride. Of course, it will be kept a secret from 
all but yourselves. In the overflow of gratitude she 
may speak of it to others, but for you to mention "it 
would be ungenerous and indelicate in the extreme. 
We are glad to say that ladies of fortune often make 
gifts of party-dresses to their less-favoured friends. 

In sending a present, always pay in advance the 
expense of transmitting it, so that it may cost nothing 
at all to the receiver. You may send by the Mail a 
package of any size, weighing not more than four 
pounds, paying the postage yourself at the office from 
whence it goes. It will then be delivered at the 
door of your friend, without further charg^ 





Conversation is the verbal interchange of thoughts 
and feelings, To form a perfect conversationist, many 
qualifications are requisite. There must be knowledge 
of the world, knowledge of books, and a facility of 
imparting that knowledge ; together with originality, 
memory, an intuitive perception of what is best to say, 
and best to omit, good taste, good temper, and good 
manners. An agreeable and instructive talker has 
the faculty of going "from gay to grave, from lively 
to serene," without any apparent effort; neither skim- 
ming so slightly over a variety of topics as to leave 
no impression of any, or dwelling so long upon one 
subject as to weary the attention of the hearers. 
Persons labouring under a monomania, such as ab- 
sorbs their whole mind into one prevailing idea, are 
never pleasant or impressive talkers. They defeat 
their own purpose by recurring to it perpetually, and 
rendering it a perpetual fatigue. A good talker 
should cultivate a temperance in talking; so as not to 
talk too much, to the exclusion of other good talkers. 
Conversation is dialogue, not monologue. It was said 
of Madame de Stael that she did not converse, but 
delivered orations. 


To be a perfect conversationist, a good voice is 
indispensable — a voice that is clear, distinct, ami 
silver-toned. If you find that you have a habit of 
speaking too low, "reform it altogether." It is a 
bad one ; and will render your talk unintelligible. 

Few things are more delightful than for one intelli- 
gent and well-stored mind to find itself in company 
with a kindred spirit— each understanding the other, 
catching every idea, and comprehending every allu- 
sion. Such persons will become as intimate in half 
an hour, as if they had been personally acquainted for 

On the other hand, the pleasure of society is much 
lessened by the habit in which many persons indulge, 
of placing themselves always in the opposition, con- 
troverting every opinion, and doubting every fact. 
They talk to you as a lawyer examines a witness at 
the bar ; trying to catch you in some discrepancy that 
will invalidate your testimony; fixing their scruti- 
nizing eyes upon your face "as if they would look you 
through," and scarcely permitting you to say, "It is 
a fine day," without making you prove your words. 
Such people are never popular. Nobody likes per- 
petual contradiction, especially when the subject of 
argument is of little or no consequence. In young 
people this dogmatic practice is generally based upon 
vanity and impertinence. In the old it is prompted 
by pride and selfishness. We doubt if in the present 
day the talk and manners of Johnson would have 
been tolerated in really good society. 

Unless he first refers to it himself, never talk to a 


gentleman concerning his profession ; at least do not 
question him about it. For instance, you must not 
expect a physician to tell you how his patients are 
affected, or to confide to you any particulars of their 
maladies. These are subjects that he will discuss 
only with their relatives, or their nurses. It is also 
very improper to ask a lawyer about his clients, or 
the cases in which he is employed. A clergyman 
does not like always to be talking about the church. 
A merchant, when away from his counting-house, has 
no wish to engage in business-talk with ladies ; and a 
mechanic is ever willing "to leave the shop behind 
him." Every American is to be supposed capable of 
conversing on miscellaneous subjects ; and he considers 
it no compliment to be treated as if he knew nothing 
but what the Scotch call his " bread-winner. " Still, 
there are some few individuals who like to talk of 
their bread-winner. If you perceive this disposition, 
indulge them, and listen attentively. You will learn 
something useful, and worth remembering. 

Women who have begun the world in humble life, 
and have been necessitated to give most of their atten- 
tion to household affairs, are generally very shy in 
talking of housewifery, after their husbands have 
become rich, and are living in style, as it is called. 
Therefore, do not annoy them by questions on domes- 
tic economy. But converse as if they had beeji ladies 

Lord Erskine, having lived a bachelor to an ad- 
vanced age, finally married his cook, by way of se- 
curing her services, as she had frequently threatened 

18»' miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

to leave him. After she became Lady Erskine she 
lost all knowledge of cookery, and it was a mortal 
affront to hint the possibility of her knowing how any 
sort of eatable should be prepared for the table. 

Never remind any one of the time when their situa- 
tion was less genteel, or less affluent than at present, 
or tell them that you remember their living in a small 
house, or in a remote street. If they have not moral 
courage to talk of such things themselves, it is rude in 
you to make any allusion to them. 

On the other hand, if invited to a fashionable house, 
and to meet fashionable company, it is not the time or 
place for you to set forth the comparative obscurity 
of your own origin, by way of showing that you are 
not proud. If you are not proud, it is most likely 
that your entertainers may be, and they will not be 
pleased at your ultra-magnanimity in thus lowering 
yourself before their aristocratic guests. These com- 
munications should be reserved for tete-d-tetes with 
old or familiar friends, who have no more pride than 

When listening to a circumstance that is stated to 
have actually occurred to the relater, even if it strikes 
you as being very extraordinary, and not in conformity 
to your own experience, it is rude to reply, "Such a 
thing never happened to me." It is rude because it 
seems to imply a doubt of the narrator's veracity; and 
it is foolish, because its not having happened to you 
is no proof that it could not have happened to any 
body else. Slowness in belief is sometimes an evidence 
of ignorance, rather than of knowledge. People who 


have read but little, travelled but little, and seen but 
little of the world out of their own immediate circle, 
and whose intellect is too obtuse to desire any new 
accession to their own small stock of ideas, are apt to 
think that nothing can be true unless it has fallen 
under their own limited experience. Also, they may 
be so circumstanced that nothing in the least out of 
the common way is likely to disturb the still water of 
their pond-like existence. 

A certain English nobleman always listens incredu- 
lously when he hears any person descanting on the 
inconveniences of travelling on the continent, and 
relating instances of bad accommodations and bad 
fare ; uncomfortable vehicles, and uncomfortable inns ; 
the short beds and narrow sheets of Germany; the 
slow and lumbering diligence-riding of France; the 
garlicky stews of Spain with a feline foundation; the 
little vine-twig fires in the chilly winters of Northern 
Italy ; and various other ills which the flesh of travel- 
lers is heir to; — the duke always saying, "Now really 
I never experienced any of these discomforts, much 
as I have traversed the continent. None of these 
inconveniences ever come in my way." And how 
should they, when, being a man of enormous wealth, he 
always travels with a cavalcade of carriages; a reti- 
nue of servants ; a wagon-load of bedding and other 
furniture ; a cook, with cooking-utensils, and Jots of 
luxurious eatables to be cooked at stopping-places — ■ 
his bod y-coach (as it is called) being a horse-drawn 
palace. What inconveniences can possibly happen to 
him f 

190 miss Leslie's behaviour look. 

When you hear a gentleman speak in praise of a 
lady whom you do not think deserving of his com- 
mendations, you will gain nothing by attempting to 
undeceive him; particularly if she is handsome. Your 
dissenting from his opinion he will, in all probability, 
impute to envy, or ill-nature ; and therefore the only 
impression you can make will be against yourself. 

Even if you have reason to dislike the lady, recollect 
that few are without some good points both of person 
and character. And it will be much better for you to 
pass over her faults in silence, and agree with him in 
commending what is really commendable about her. 
What he would, perhaps, believe implicitly if told to 
him by a man, he would attribute entirely to jealousy, 
or to a love of detraction if related by a woman. 
Above all, if a gentleman descants on the beauty of a 
lady, and in your own mind you do not coincide with 
his opinion, refrain, on your part, from criticizing 
invidiously her face and figure, and do not say that 
" though her complexion may be fine, her features are 
not regular;" that "her nose is too small," or "her 
eyes too large," or "her mouth too wide." Still less 
disclose -to him the secret of her wearing false hair, 
artificial teeth, or tinging her cheeks with rouge. If 
she is a bold, forward woman, he will find that out as 
soon as yourself, and sooner too, — and you may be 
sure that though he may amuse himself by talking and 
flirting with her, he in reality regards her as she de- 

If a foreigner chances, in your presence, to make 
an unfavourable remark upon some custom or habit 


peculiar to your country, do not immediately take fire 
and resent it ; for, perhaps, upon reflection, you may 
find that he is right, or nearly so. All countries have 
their national character, and no character is perfect, 
whether that of a nation or an individual. If you 
know that the stranger has imbibed an erroneous 
impression, you may calmly, and in a few words, en- 
deavour to convince him of it. But if he shows an 
unwillingness to be convinced, and tells you that what 
he has said he heard from good authority; or that, 
before he came to America, "his mind was made up," 
it will be worse than useless for you to continue the 
argument. Therefore change the subject, or turn and 
address your conversation to some one else. 

Lady Morgan's Duchess of Belmont very properly 
checks O'Donnell for his ultra-nationality, and advises 
him not to be always running a tilt with every Eng- 
lishman he talks to, continually seeming as if ready 
with the war-cry of "St. Patrick for. Ireland, against 
St. George for England." 

Dr. Johnson was speaking of Scotland with his usual 
seventy, when a Caledonian who was present, started 
up, and called out, "Sir, I was born in Scotland." 
"Very well, sir," said the cynic calmly, "I do not see 
why so small a circumstance should make any change 
in the national character." 

English strangers complain (and with reason) of 
the American practice of imposing on their credulity, 
by giving them false and exaggerated accounts of 
certain things peculiar to this country, and telling 
them, as truths, stories that are absolute impossibilities ; 

192 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

the amusement being to see how the John Bulls 
swallow these absurdities. Even General Washington 
diverted himself by mystifying Weld the English 
traveller, who complained to him at Mount Vernon of 
musquitoes so large and fierce that they bit through 
• his cloth coat. "Those are nothing," said Washing- 
ton, "to musquitoes I have met with, that bite through 
a thick leather boot." Weld expressed his astonish- 
ment, (as well he might;) and, when he "put out a 
book," inserted the story of the boot-piercing insects, 
which he said must be true, as he had it from no less 
a person than General Washington. 

It is a work of supererogation to furnish falsehoods 
for British travellers. They can manufacture them 
fast enough. Also, it is ungenerous thus to sport 
with their ignorance, and betray them into ridiculous 
caricatures, which they present to the English world 
in good faith. We hope these tricks are not played 
upon any of the best class of European travel-writers. 

When in Europe, (in England particularly,) be not 
over sensitive as to remarks that may be made on 
your own country; and do not expect every one 
around you to keep perpetually in mind that you are 
an American; nor require that they should guard 
every word, and keep a constant check on their 
conversation, lest they should chance to offend your 
republican feelings. The English, as they become 
better acquainted with America, regard us with more 
favour, and are fast getting rid of their old prejudices, 
and opening their eyes as to the advantages to be 
derived from cultivating our friendship instead of 


provoking our enmity. They have, at last, all learn* 
that our language is theirs, and they no longer com- 
pliment newly-arrived Americans on speaking English 
"quite well." It is not many years since two young 
ladies from one of our Western States, being at a party 
at a very fashionable mansion in London, were re- 
quested by the lady of the house to talk a little 
American; several of her guests being desirous of 
hearing a specimen of that language. One of the 
young ladies mischievously giving a hint to the other, 
they commenced a conversation in what school-girls 
call gibberish; and the listeners, when they had 
finished, gave various opinions on the American 
tongue, some pronouncing it very soft, and rather 
musical; others could not help saying candidly that 
they found it rather harsh. But all agreed that it 
resembled no language they had heard before. 

There is no doubt that by the masses, better Eng- 
lish is spoken in America than in England. 

However an Englishman or an Englishwoman may 
boast of their intimacy with "the nobility and gentry," 
there is one infalliable rule by which the falsehood of 
these pretensions may be detected. And that is in 
the misuse of the letter H, putting it where it should 
not be, and omitting it where it should. This unac- 
countable practice prevails, more or less, in all parts 
of England, but is unknown in Scotland and Ireland. 
It is never found but among the middle and lower 
classes, and by polished and well-educated people is 
as much laughed at in England as it is with us. A 
relative of ours being in a stationer's shop in St. Paul's 


fThurch Yard, (the street surrounding the cathedral,) 
heard the stationer call his boy, and tell him to "go 
and take the babbj out, and give him a hairing — the 
babby having had no hair for a week." We have 
heard an Englishman talk of "taking an ouse that 
should have an ot water pipe, and a hoven" The 
same man asked a young lady "if she had eels on her 
boots." We heard an Englishwoman tell a servant 
to "bring the arth brush, and sweep up the hashes" 
Another assured us that "the American ladies were 
quite hignorant of ketiquette." 

We have actually seen a ridiculous bill sent seriously 
by a Yorkshireman who kept a livery-stable in Phila- 
delphia. The items were, verbatim — 

D. C. 

anosafada 2 50 

takinonimome 37 

No reader can possibly guess this — so we will ex- 
plain that the first line, in which all the words run 
into one, signifies "An orse af a day," — or "A horse 
half a day." The second line means "takin on im 
ome," — or "Taking of him home." 

English travellers are justly severe on the tobacco- 
chewing and spitting, that though exploded in the 
best society, is still too prevalent among the million. 
All American ladies can speak feelingly on this sub- 
ject, for they suffer from it in various ways. First, 
the sickening disgust without which they cannot wit- 
ness the act of expectoration performed before their 


faces. .Next, the danger of tobacco-saliva falling on 
their dresses in the street, or while travelling in 
steamers and rail-cars. Then the necessity of walk- 
ing through the abomination when leaving those con- 
veyances ; treading in it with their shoes ; and wiping 
it up with the hems of their gowns. We know an 
instance of the crown of a lady's white-silk bonnet 
being bespattered with tobacco-juice, by a man spit- 
ting out of a window in one of the New York hotels. 
A lady on the second seat of a box at the Chestnut- 
street theatre, found, when she went home, the back 
of her pelisse entirely spoilt, by some man behind not 
having succeeded in trying to spit past her — or per- 
g haps he did not try. Why should ladies endure all 
this, that men may indulge in a vulgar and deleterious 
practice, pernicious to their own health, and which 
they cannot acquire without going through a seasoning 
of* disgust and nausea? 

It is very unmannerly when a person begins to 
relate a circumstance or an anecdote, to stop them 
short by saying, " I have heard it before." Still 
worse, to say you do not wish to hear it at all. There 
are people who set themselves against listening to any 
thing that can possibly excite melancholy or painful 
feelings ; and profess to hear nothing that may give 
them a sad or unpleasant sensation. Those who have 
so much tenderness for themselves, have usually but 
little tenderness for others. It is impossible to go 
through the world with perpetual sunshine over head, 
and unfading flowers under foot. Clouds will gather 
in the brightest sky, and weeds choke up the fairest 


•oses and violets. And we should all end* a 
to prepare ourselves for these changes, by listening 
with sympathy to the manner in which they have 
affected others. 

No person of good feelings, good manners, or true 
refinement, will entertain their friends with minute 
descriptions of sickening horrors, such as barbarous 
executions, revolting punishments, or inhuman cruelties 
perpetrated on animals. We have never heard an 
officer dilate on the dreadful spectacle of a battle- 
field; a scene of which no description can ever pre- 
sent an adequate idea; and which no painter has ever 
exhibited in all its shocking and disgusting details. 
Physicians do not talk of the dissecting-room. 

Unless you are speaking to a physician, and are 
interested in a patient he is attending, refrain in 
conversation from entering into the particulars of 
revolting diseases, such as scrofula, ulcers, cutaneous 
afflictions, &c. and discuss no terrible operations— 
especially at table. There are women who seem to 
delight in dwelling on such disagreeable topics. 

If you are attending the sick-bed of a friend, and 
are called down to a visiter, speak of her illness with 
delicacy, and do not disclose all the unpleasant cir- 
cumstances connected with it; things which it would 
grieve her to know, may, if once told, be circulated 
among married women, and by them repeated to their 
husbands. In truth, upon most occasions, a married 
woman is not a safe confidant. She will assuredly 
tell every thing to her husband; and in all probability 
to his mother and sisters also — that is, every thing 


concerning her friends — always, perhaps, under a 
strict injunction of secrecy. But a secret entrusted 
to more than two or three persons, is soon dilfused 
throughout the whole community. 

A man of some humour was to read aloud a deed. 
He commenced with the words, " Know one woman by 
these presents." He was interrupted, and asked why 
he changed the words, which were in the usual form, 
"Know all men by these presents." "Oh!" said he, 
"'tis very certain that all men will soon know it, if 
one woman does." 

Generally speaking, it is injudicious for ladies to 
attempt arguing with gentlemen on political or finan- 
cial topics. All the information that a woman can 
possibly acquire or remember on these subjects is so 
small, in comparison with the knowledge of men, that 
the discussion will not elevate them in the opinion of 
masculine minds. Still, it is well for a woman to 
desire enlightenment, that she may comprehend some- 
thing of these discussions, when she hears them from 
the other sex; therefore let her listen as understand- 
ing^ as she can, but refrain from controversy and 
argument on such topics as the grasp of a female 
mind is seldom capable of seizing or retaining. Men 
are very intolerant toward women who are prone to 
contradiction and contention, when the talk is' of 
things considered out of their sphere ; but very indul- 
gent toward a modest and attentive listener, who only 
asks questions for the sake of information. Men like 
to dispense knowledge ; but few of them believe that 
in departments exclusively their own, they can profit 


much by the suggestions of women. It is true there 
are and have been women who have distinguished 
themselves greatly in the higher branches of science 
and literature, and on whom the light of genius has 
clearly descended. But can the annals of woman 
produce a female Shakspeare, a female Milton, a 
Goldsmith, a Campbell, or a Scott? What woman 
has painted like Raphael or Titian, or like the best 
artists of our own times ? Mrs. Darner and Mrs. 
Siddons had a talent for sculpture ; so had Marie of 
Orleans, the accomplished daughter of Louis Philippe. 
Yet what are the productions of these talented ladies 
compared to those of Thorwaldsen, Canova, Chantrey, 
and the master chisels of the great American statu- 
aries. Women have been excellent musicians, and 
have made fortunes by their voices. But is there 
among them a Mozart, a Bellini, a Michael Kelly, an 
Auber, a Boieldieu ? Has a woman made an improve- 
ment on steam-engines, or on any thing connected 
with the mechanic arts ? And yet these things have 
been done by men of no early education — by self- 
taught men. A good tailor fits, cuts out, and sews 
better than the most celebrated female dress-maker. 
A good man-cook far excels a good woman-cook. 
Whatever may be their merits as assistants, women 
are rarely found who are very successful at the head 
of any establishment that requires energy and origi- 
nality of mind. Men make fortunes, women make 
livings. And none make poorer livings than those 
who waste their time, and bore their friends, by 
writing and lecturing upon the equality of the sexes, 


and what they call " Women's Rights." How is it that 
most of these ladies live separately from their husbands ; 
either despising them, or being despised by them ? 

Truth is, the female sex is really as inferior to the 
male in vigour of mind as in strength of body ; and 
all arguments to the contrary are founded on a few 
anomalies, or based on theories that can never be re- 
duced to practice. Because there was a Joan of Arc, 
and an Augustina of Saragossa, should females expose 
themselves to all the dangers and terrors of "the 
battle-field's dreadful array." The women of the 
American Revolution effected much good to their 
country's cause, without encroaching upon the pro- 
vince of its brave defenders. They were faithful and 
patriotic; but they left the conduct of that tremen- 
dous struggle to abler heads, stronger arms, and 
sterner hearts. 

, We envy not the female who can look unmoved 
upon physical horrors — even the sickening horror?, of 
the dissecting-room. 

Yet women are endowed with power to meet mis- 
fortune with fortitude ; to endure pain with patience ; 
to resign themselves calmly, piously, and hopefully to 
the last awful change that awaits every created being ; 
to hazard their own lives for those that they love ; 
to toil cheerfully and industriously for the support of 
their orphan children, or their aged parents ; to watch 
with untiring tenderness the sick-bed of a friend, or 
even of a stranger ; to limit their own expenses and 
their own pleasures, that they may have something to 
bestow on deserving objects of charity ; to smooth the 


ruggedness of man ; to soften his asperities of temper; 
to refine his manners ; to make his home a happy 

one ; and to improve the minds and hearts of their 
children. All this women can — and do. And this .3 
their true mission. 

In talking with a stranger, if the conversation 
should turn toward sectarian religion, enquire to what 
church he belongs ; and then mention your own church. 
This, among people of good sense and good manners, 
and we may add of true piety, will preclude all danger 
of remarks being made on either side which may be 
painful to either party. Happily we live in a land of 
universal toleration, where all religions are equal in 
the sight of the law and the government ; and where 
no text is more powerful and more universally received 
than the wise and incontrovertible words — "By their 
fruits ye shall know them." He that acts well is a 
good man, and a religious man, at whatever altar he 
may worship. He that acts ill is a bad man, and has 
no true sense of religion ; no matter how punctual his 
attendance at church, if of that church he is an un- 
worthy member. Ostentatious sanctimony may de- 
ceive man, but it cannot deceive God. 

On this earth there are many roads to heaven ; 
and each traveller supposes his own to be the best. 
But they must all unite in one road at the last. It is 
only Omniscience that can decide. And it will then be 
found that no sect is excluded because of its faith ; or 
if its members have acted honestly and conscientiously 
according to the lights they had, and molesting no one 
for believirii: in the tenets of a different church. The 


religion of Jesus, as our Saviour left it to us, was one 
of peace and good-will to men, and of unlimited faith 
in the wisdom and goodness, and power and majesty 
of Grod. It is not for a frail human being to place 
limits to his mercy, and say what church is the only 
true one — and the only one that leads to salvation. 
Let all men keep in mind this self-evident truth — " He 
can't be wrong whose life is in the right ;" and try to 
act up to the Divine command of " doing unto all men 
as you would they should do unto you." 

In America, no religious person of good sense or 
good manners ever attempts, in company, to controvert, 
uncalled for, the sectarian opinions of another. No 
clergyman that is a gentleman, (and they all are so, or 
ought to be,) ever will make the drawing-room an 
arena for religious disputation, or will offer a single 
deprecatory remark, on finding the person with whom 
he is conversing to be a member of a church essentially 
differing from his own. And if clergymen have that 
forbearance, it is doubly presumptuous for a woman, 
(perhaps a silly young girl,) to take such a liberty. 
"Fools rush in, where angels jkar to tread." 

Nothing is more apt to defeaj even a good purpose 
than the mistaken and ill-judged zeal of those that are 
not competent to understand it in all its bearings. 

Truly does the Scripture tell us — " There is a time 
for all things." We know an instance of a young 
lady at a ball attempting violently to make a proselyte 
of a gentleman of twice her age, a man of strong sense 
and high moral character, whose church (of which he 
was a sincere member) differed materially from her 

202 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

own. After listening awhile, lie told her that a ball- 
room was no place for such discussions, and made his 
bow and left her. At another party we saw a young 
girl going round among the matrons, and trying to 
bring them all to a confession of faith. 

Religion is too sacred a subject for discussion at balls 
and parties. 

If you find that an intimate friend has a leaning 
toward the church in which you worship, first ascer- 
tain truly if her parents have no objection, and then, 
but not else, you may be justified in inducing her to 
adopt your opinions. Still, in most cases, it is best 
not to interfere. 

In giving your opinion of a new book, a picture, or 
a piece of music, when conversing with a distinguished 
author, an artist or a musician, say modestly, that " so 
it appears to you," — that "it has given you plea- 
sure," or the contrary. But do not positively and 
dogmatically assert that it is good, -or that it is bad. 
The person with whom you are talking is, in all proba- 
bility, a far more competent judge than yourself; 
therefore, listen attentively, and he may correct your 
opinion, and set you right. If he fail to convince you, 
remain silent, or change the subject. Vulgar ladies 
have often a way of saying, when disputing on the 
merits of a thing they are incapable of understanding, 
"Any how, J like it," or, "It is quite good enough 
for me" — Which is no proof of its being good enough 
for any body else. 

In being asked your candid opinion of a person, be 
very cautious to whom you confide that opinion ; for 


if repeated as yours, it may lead to unpleasant conse- 
quences. It is only to an intimate and long-tried 
friend that you may safely entrust certain things, 
which if known, might produce mischief. Even very 
intimate friends are not always to be trusted, and 
when they have actually told something that they 
heard under the injunction of secrecy, they will con- 
sider it a sufficient atonement to say, " Indeed I did 
not mean to tell it, but somehow it slipped out.;" or, 
" I really intended to guard the secret faithfully, but 
I was so questioned and cross-examined, and bewil- 
dered, that I knew not how to answer without dis- 
closing enough to make them guess the whole. I am 
very sorry, and will try to be more cautious in future. 
But these slips of the tongue will happen." 

The lady whose confidence has been thus be- 
trayed, should be "more cautious in future," and 
put no farther trust in she of the slippery tongue — 
giving her up, entirely, as unworthy of farther friend- 

No circumstances will induce an honourable and 
right-minded woman to reveal a secret after promising 
secrecy. But she should refuse being made the 
depository of any extraordinary fact which it may be 
wrong to conceal, and wrong to disclose. 

We can scarcely find words sufficiently strong to 
contemn the heinous practice, so prevalent with low- 
minded people, of repeating to their friends whatever 
they hear to their disadvantage. By low-minded 
people, we do not exclusively mean persons of low 
station. The low-minded are not always "born in a 

204 miss Leslie's behaviour look. 

garret, in a kitchen bred." Unhappily, there aie (so- 
called) ladies — ladies of fortune and fashion — who will 
descend to meannesses of which the higher ranks 
ought to be considered incapable, and who, without 
compunction, will wantonly lacerate the feelings and 
mortify the self-love of those whom they call their 
friends, telling them what has been said about them 
by other friends. 

It is sometimes said of a notorious tatler and mis- 
chief-maker, that "she has, notwithstanding, a good 
heart." How is this possible, when it is her pastime 
to scatter dissension, ill-feeling, and unhappiness among 
all whom she calls her friends? She may, perhaps, 
give alms to beggars, or belong to sewing circles, or 
to Bible societies, or be officious in visiting the sick. 
All this is meritorious, and it is well if there is some 
good in her. But if she violates the charities of social 
life, and takes a malignant pleasure in giving pain, 
and causing trouble — depend on it, her show of benevo- 
lence is mere ostentation, and her acts of kindness 
spring not from the heart. She will convert the sew- 
ing circle into a scandal circle. If she is assiduous in 
visiting her sick friends, she will turn to the worst 
account, particulars she may thus acquire of the 
sanctities of private life and the humiliating mysteries 
of the sick-chamber. 

If indeed it can be possible that tatling and mis- 
chief-making may be only (as is sometimes alleged) a 
bad habit, proceeding from an inability to govern the 
tongue — shame on those w T ho have allowed themselves 
to acquire such a habit, and who make no effort to 


subdue it, or who have encouraged it in their children, 
and perhaps set them the example. 

If you are so unfortunate as to know one of these 
pests of society, get rid of her acquaintance as soon as 
you can. If allowed to go on, she will infallibly 
bring you into some difficulty, if not into disgrace. 
If she begins by telling you — "I had a hard battle to 
fight in your behalf last evening at Mrs. Morley's. 
Miss Jewson, whom you believe to be one of your best 
friends, said some very severe things about you, which, 
to my surprise, were echoed by Miss Warden, who 
said she knew them to be true. But I contradicted 
them warmly. Still they would not be convinced, and 
said I must be blind and deaf not to know better. 
How very hard it is to distinguish those who love 
from those who hate us !" 

Instead of encouraging the mischief-maker to relate 
the particulars, and explain exactly what these severe 
things really were, the true and dignified course should 
be to say as calmly as you can — "I consider no per- 
son my friend, who comes to tell such things as must 
give me pain and mortification, and lessen my regard 
for those I have hitherto esteemed, and in whose 
society I have found pleasure. I have always liked 
Miss Jewson and Miss Warden, and am sorry to hear 
that they do not like me. Still, as I am not certain 
of the exact truth, (being in no place where I could 
myself overhear the discussion,) it will make no difier- 
ence in my behaviour to those young ladies. And 
now then we will change the subject, never to resume 
it. My true friends do not bring me such tales." 


By-the-bye, tatlcrs are always listeners, and nre 
frequently the atrocious writers of anonymous letters, 
for which they should be expelled from society. 

Let it be remembered that all who are capable of 
detailing unpleasant truths, (such as can answer no 
purpose but to produce bad feeling, and undying 
enmity,) are likewise capable of exaggerating and 
misrepresenting facts, that do not seem quite strong 
enough to excite much indignation. Tale-bearing 
always leads to lying. She who begins with the first 
of these vices, soon arrives at the second. 

Some prelude these atrocious communications with — 
"I think it my duty to tell how Miss Jackson and 
Mrs. Wilson talk about you, for it is right that you 
should know your friends from your enemies." You 
listen, believe, and from that time become the enemy 
of Miss Jackson and Mrs. Wilson — having too much 
pride to investigate the truth, and learn what they 
really said. 

Others will commence with — "I'm a plain-spoken 
woman, and consider it right, for your own sake, to 
inform you that since your return from Europe, you 
talk quite too much of your travels." 

You endeavour to defend yourself from this accusa- 
tion, by replying that "having seen much when 
abroad, it is perfectly natural that you should allude 
to what you have seen." 

u Oh ! but there should be moderation in all things, 
lo be candid — your friend Mrs. Willet says she is 
tired of hearing of France and Italy." 

" Why then does she always try to get a seat next 


to me, and ask me to tell her something more of those 
countries ?" 

" Well, I don't know. People are so deceitful ! 
There is Mr. Liddard, who says you bore him to death 
with talking about England." 

"And yet whenever I do talk about England, I 
always find him at the back of my chair. And when 
I pause, he draws me on to say more." 

"Men are such flatterers ! Well, I always tell th$ 
plain truth. So it is best you should know Colonel 
Greenfield declares that since your return from Europe 
you are absolutely intolerable. Excuse my telling you 
these things. It is only to show that ©Very body else 
thinks just as I do. Mrs. Gray says it is a pity you 
ever crossed the Atlantic." 

Do not excuse her — but drop her acquaintance as 
soon as you can, without coming to a quarrel, in which 
case you will most probably get the worst. A plain- 
spoken woman is always to be dreaded. Her cold- 
blooded affectation of frankness is only a pretext to 
introduce something that will wound your feelings; 
and then she will tell you "that Mrs. A. B. C. and D., 
and Mr. 13. and Mr. F. also, have said a hundred times 
that you are a woman of violent temper, and cannot 
listen to advice without flying into a passion." 

And she will quietly take her leave, informing 
you that she is your best friend, and that all she 
has said was entirely for your own good, and that 
she shall continue to admonish you whenever she sees 

A plain-spoken woman will tell you that you were 

208 L BOOK. 

thought to look very ill at Mrs. Thomson's party, you* 
dress being rather in bad taste; that you ought to 
give up singing in company, your best friends saying 
that your style is now a little old-fashioned ; that 
you should not attempt talking French to French 
ladies, as Mr. Leroux and Mr. Dufond say that your 
French is not quite Parisian, &c. &c. She will say 
these things upon no authority but her own. 

When any one prefaces an enquiry by the vulgarism, 
"If it is a fair question?" you may be very certain 
that the question is a most unfair one — that is, a 
question which it is impertinent to ask, and of no 
consequence whatever to the asker. 

If a person begins by telling you, "Do not be 
offended at what I am going to say," prepare yourself 
for something that she knows will certainly offend you. 
But as she has given you notice, try to listen, and 
answer with calmness. 

It is a delicate and thankless business to tell a 
friend of her faults, unless you are certain that, in 
return, you can bear without anger to hear her point 
out your own. She will undoubtedly recriminate. 

It is not true that an irritable temper cannot be 
controlled. It can, and is, whenever the worldly 
interest of the enrag&e depends on its suppression. 

Frederick the Great severely reprimanded a Prussian 
officer for striking a soldier at a review. " I could not 
refrain," said the officer. " I have a high temper, your 
majesty, and I cannot avoid showing it, when I see a 
man looking sternly at me." "Yes, you can," re- 
plied the king. "lam looking sternly at you, and I 


am giving you ten times as much cause of offence as 
that poor soldier — yet you do not strike me." 

A naturally irritable disposition can always be 
tamed down, by a strong and persevering effort to 
subdue it, and by determining always to check it on 
its first approaches to passion. The indulgence of 
temper renders a man (and still more a woman) the 
dread and shame of the whole house. It wears out 
the affection of husbands, wives, and children — of 
brothers and sisters ; destroys friendship ; disturbs 
the enjoyment of social intercourse ; causes incessant 
changing of servants ; and is a constant source of 
misery to that most unhappy of all classes, poor 

That a violent temper is generally accompanied by 
a good heart, is a popular fallacy. On the contrary, 
the indulgence of it hardens the heart. And even if 
its ebullitions are always succeeded by " compunctious 
visitings," and followed by apologies and expressions 
of regret, still it leaves wounds that time cannot 
always efface, and which we may forgive, but cannot 

Ill-tempered women are very apt to call themselves 
nervous, and to attribute their violent fits of passion to 
a weakness of the nerves. This is not true. A real 
nervous affection shows itself " more in sorrow than in 
anger," producing tears, tremor, and head-ache, fears 
without adequate cause, and general depression of 
spirits — the feelings becoming tender to a fault. 

When a woman abandons herself to terrible fits of 
anger with little or no cause, and makes herself a 


frightful spectacle, by turning white with rage, rolling 
up her eyes, drawing in her lips, gritting her teeth, 
clenching her hands, and stamping her feet, depend 
on it, she is not of a nervous, but of a furious tem- 
perament. A looking-glass held before her, to let her 
see what a shocking object she has made herself, would, 
we think, have an excellent effect. We have seen but 
a few females in this revolting state, and only three of 
them were ladies — but we have heard of many. 

When the paroxysm is over, all the atonement she 
can make is to apologize humbly, and to pray con- 
tritely. If she has really any goodness of heart, and 
any true sense of religion, she will do this promptly, 
and prove her sincerity by being very kind to those 
whom she has outraged and insulted — and whose best 
course during these fits of fury is to make no answer, 
or to leave the room. 

As out of nothing, nothing can come, to be a good 
conversationist, you must have a well-stored mind, 
originality of ideas, and a retentive memory. With- 
out making a lumber-room of your head, and stuffing it 
with all manner of useless and unnecessary things not 
worth retaining, you should select only such as are 
useful or ornamental, interesting or amusing. Your 
talk must flow as if spontaneously; one subject sug- 
gesting another, none being dwelt upon too long. 
Anecdotes may be introduced with much effect. They 
should be short, and related in such words as will give 
them the most point. We have heard the same anec- 
dote told by two persons. With one it became prosy 
and tiresome, and the point was not perceptible from 


its being smothered in ill-chosen words. "With the 
other narrator, the anecdote was "all light and spirit; 
soon told, and not soon forgotten." Brevity is the 
soul of wit, and wit is the soul of anecdote. And 
where wit is wanting, humour is an excellent substi- 
tute. Every body likes to laugh, or ought to. Yet 
there is a time for all things ; and after listening to a 
serious or interesting incident well related, it is ex- 
ceedingly annoying to hear some silly and heartless 
girl follow it with, a ridiculous remark, intended to be 
funny — such as "Quite solemncolly!" — or, "We are 
all getting into the doldrums." 

You may chance to find yourself in a company where 
no one is capable of appreciating the best sort of con- 
versation, and where to be understood, or indeed to 
keep them awake, you must talk down to the capacities 
of your hearers. You must manage this adroitly, or 
they may find you out, and be offended. So, after all, 
it is, perhaps, safest to go on and scatter pearls where 
wax beads would be equally valued. Only in such 
society, do not introduce quotations from the poets, 
especially from Shakspeare, or your hearers may 
wonder what queer words you are saying. Another 
time, and with congenial companions, you can indulge 
in "the feast of reason, and the flow of soul." 

If placed beside a lady so taciturn that no effort on 
your part can draw her out, or elicit more than a mono- 
syllable, and that only at long intervals, you may safely 
conclude that there is nothing in her, and leave her to 
her own dullness, or to be enlivened by the approach 
of one of the other sex. That will make her talk. 


Few persons are good talkers who are not extensive 
and miscellaneous readers. You cannot attentively 
read the best authors without obtaining a great com- 
mand of words, so that you can always, with ease and 
fluency, clothe your ideas in appropriate language. 

Knowledge is of course the basis of conversation — ■ 
the root whose deepened strength and vigour gives life 
to the tree, multiplicity to its branches, and beauty 
to its foliage. 

Much that is bad and foolish in women would have 
no existence if their minds were less barren. In a 
waste field, worthless and bitter weeds will spring up 
which it is hard to eradicate ; while a soil that is judi- 
ciously cultivated produces abundant grain, luxuriant 
grass, and beautiful flowers. 

There are ladies so exceedingly satisfied with them- 
selves, and so desirous of being thought the special 
favourites of Providence, that they are always desiring 
to hold out an idea "that pain and sorrow can come 
not near them," and that they enjoy a happy exemp- 
tion from "all the ills that flesh is heir to." They 
complain of nothing, for they profess to have nothing 
to complain of. They feel not the cold of winter, nor 
the heat of summer. The temperature is always 
exactly what they like. To them the street is never 
muddy with rain, nor slippery with ice. Unwhole- 
some food agrees perfectly with tliem. They sleep 
soundly in bad beds, or rather no beds are bad. 
Travelling never fatigues them. Nobody imposes on 
them, nobody offends them. Other people may be ill 
— they are always in good health and spirits. To 


them all books are delightful — all pictures beautiful — 
all music charming. Other people may have trouble 
with their children — they have none. Other people 
may have bad servants — theirs are always excellent. 

Now if all this were true, the lot of such persons 
would indeed be enviable, and we should endeavour to 
learn by what process such complete felicity has been 
attained — and why they see every thing through such 
a roseate medium. But it is not true. This is all 
overweening vanity, and a desire "to set themselves 
up above the rest of the world." We have always 
noticed that these over-fortunate, over-happy women 
have, in reality, a discontented, care-worn look, re- 
sulting from the incessant painful effort to seem what 
they are not. And if any body will take the trouble, 
it is very easy to catch them in discrepancies and 
contradictions. But it is not polite to do so. There- 
fore let them pass. 

As mothers are always on the qui vive, (and very 
naturally,) be careful what you say of their children. 
Unless he is a decidedly handsome man, you may give 
offence by remarking, " The boy is the very image of 
his father." If the mother is a vain woman, she would 
much rather hear that all the children are the very 
image of herself. Refrain from praising too much 
the children of another family, particularly if the two 
sets of children are cousins. It is often dangerous to 
tell a mother that "little Willy is growing quite hand- 
some." She will probably answer, "I had hoped my 
child was handsome always." With some mothers it 
is especially imprudent to remark that "little Mary 


looks like her aunt, or her grand mother." Again, if 
you prudently say nothing about the looks of the little 
ucars, you may be suspected and perhaps accused of 
taking no interest in children. Young ladies, when in 
presence of gentlemen, are too apt to go on the other 
extreme, and over-act their parts, in the excessive 
fondling and kissing and hugging of children not in 
the least engaging, or even good-looking. We cannot 
believe that any female, not the mother, can really 
fall into raptures with a cross, ugly child. But how 
pleasant it is to play with and amuse, an intelligent, 
affectionate, and good-tempered little thing, to hear its 
innocent sayings, and to see the first buddings of its 
infant mind. 

When you are visiting another city, and receiving 
civilities from some of its inhabitants, it is an ill re- 
quital for their attentions to disparage their place, 
and glorify your own. In every town there is some- 
thing to praise; and in large cities there is a great 
deal to amuse, to interest, and to give pleasure. Yet 
there are travellers who (like Smelfungus) are never 
satisfied with the place they are in — who exclaim all 
the time against the east winds of Boston, the sea-aii 
of New York, the summer heats of Philadelphia, the 
hilly streets 0." Baltimore, and the dusty avenues of 
Washington. Wo have heard people from New Or- 
leans call Philadelphia the hottest city in the Union, 
and people from Quebec call it the coldest. If there 
are two successive days of rain, then poor Philadelphia 
is the rainiest of all places. If it snows twice in two 
weeks, then it is the snowiest. If a fire breaks 


out, it is the city of fires. If there is an Irish Jight 
in Moyamensing, it is the city of perpetual riots. By- 
the-bye, after that summer when we really had several 
successive riots up-town, and down-town, we saw an 
English caricature of the City of Brotherly Love, 
where the spirit of William Penn, in hat and wig, was 
looking down sadly from the clouds at the rioters, who 
were all represented as Quakers, in strait, plain clothes, 
and broad brims, knocking each other about with 
sticks and stones, firing pistols, and slashing with 
bowie-knives. Alas, poor Quakers ! how guiltless ye 
were of all this ! It is a common belief in England, 
that of this sect are all the people of Pennsylvania. 

In talking to an elderly lady, it is justly considered 
very rude to make any allusion to her age ; even if she 
is unmistakeably an old woman, and acknowledges it 
herself.' For instance, do not say — rt This silk of 
yours is very suitable for an elderly person" — or — ■ 
" "Will you take this chair ? — an old lady like you will 
find it very comfortable" — or — " Look, baby — is not 
that grandma?" — or — "I told the servant to attend 
first to you, on account of your age" — or — " Children, 
don't make such a noise — have you no respect for $ld 

All this we have heard. 




Every one who sees much of the world must observe 
with pain and surprise various unaccountable instances 
of improper and incorrect words that sometimOf dis- 
figure the phraseology of females who have gone 
through a course of fashionable education, and mixed 
in what is really genteel society. These instances, it 
is true, are becoming every day more rare ; but we 
regret that they should exist at all. Early impres- 
sions are hard to eradicate. Bad habits of speaking 
are formed in childhood : sometimes from the society 
of illiterate parents, but more frequently from that of 
nurses and servants ; and if not corrected or shaken 
off in due time, will cling like burrs to the diction of 
women who are really ladies in every thing else. Such 
women will say "that there," and "this here" — 
"them girls" — "them boys" — "I don't want no 
more" — "I didn't hear nothing about it" — "I didn't 
see nobody there" — "I won't do so no more." And 
other similar violations of grammar ; and grammar is 
never more palpably outraged than when two nega- 
tives are used for an affirmative. It is surely shorter 
and easier to say, "I want no more" — "I heard 


nothing about it"*— "I saw nobody there" — "I will 
do so no more." 

Another grammatical error, less glaring, but equally 
incorrect, is the too common practice of converting a 
certainty into an uncertainty by saying, " I have no 
doubt but he was there." As if his being there was 
your only doubt. You should say, " I have no doubt 
of his being there." "I have no doubt but that he 
wrote it," seems to signify that you do doubt his 
writing it, and that you are nearly sure he did not. 
The proper phrase is, "I have no doubt of his writing 
it." " I do not doubt but that she knew it long ago," 
implies that you do doubt her having known it. It 
should be, "I do not doubt her knowing it long ago." 
Leave out hut, when you talk of ^doubting. 

No word is proper that does not express the true 
meaning. For instance, it is not right to call a town- 
ship a town. A township is a section of land that 
may consist entirely of forests and farms, and may 
not comprise even a small village or hamlet. A town 
resembles a city in being closely built up with streets 
of adjoining houses. Men cannot go fishing or hunt- 
ing in a town, though they may in a township. We 
are surprised to find this misapplication of the word 
among some of the most distinguished of the New- 
England literati. Perhaps it explains Jonathan's per- 
plexity in one of the old Yankee Doodle songs : 

" He said he couldn't see the town, 
There were so many houses." 

We hope it is not necessary to caution our readers 


against the most provincial of Yankee provincialisms, 
such as, ' „ liadn't ought," or " I shouldn't ought"' — 
or " It warn't," instead of " It was not" — or the 
exclamations, "Do tell!" or "I want to know," ejacu- 
lated as a token of surprise the moment after you have 
told, and made known. The common English habit, 
or rather a habit of the common English, of using con- 
tinually the words "you know," and "you know," ifl 
very tiresome, particularly when they are talking of 
something that you cannot possibly be acquainted 
with. Check them by saying, "No, I do not know."" 
They also make great use of the word " monstrous" — 
ugly as that word is. Do not imitate them in saying 
that you are " monstrous glad," or " monstrous sorry," 
or "monstrous tired," or that a young lady is " mon- 
strous pretty." We have heard even " monstrous 

We advise our New-England friends to eschew, 
both in speaking and writing, all Yankee phrases that 
Ho not convey the exact meaning of the words. For 
instance, to " turn out the tea," instead of to ''•pour it 
out." There can be no turn given, in this process, to 
the spout or handle of the tea-pot. On the contrary, 
it cannot pour well unless it is held straight. To 
" cut the eggs," instead of to beat them, The motion 
of beating eggs does not cut them. " Braiding eggs,'' 
is still worse. But we believe that this braiding is not 
the same as cutting. What is it ? 

Two young officers were travelling in the far West 
when they stopped to take supper at a small road-side 
tavern, kept by a very rough Yankee woman. 


landlady, in a calico sun-bonnet, and bare feet, stood 
at the head of the table to pour out. She enquired 
of her guests, " if they chose long sweetening, or short 
sweetening in their coffee." The first officer, sup- 
posing that " long sweetening" meant a large portion 
of that article, chose it accordingly. What was his 
dismay when he saw their hostess dip her finger deep 
down into an earthen jar of honey that stood near her, 
and then stir it (the finger) round in the coffee. His 
companion, seeing this, preferred "short sweetening." 
Upon which the woman picked up a large lump of 
maple sugar that lay in a brown paper on the floor 
beside her, and biting off a piece, put it into his cup. 
Both the gentlemen dispensed with coffee that evening. 
This anecdote we heard from the sister of one of those 

" Emptyings" is not a good name for yeast. " Up 
chamber, up garret, down cellar," are all wrong. Why 
not say, "up in the chamber, up in the garret, down 
in the kitchen, down in the cellar ?" &c. Why should a 
mirthful fit of laughter be called "a gale!" "Last 
evening we were all in such a gale !" 

Snow and ice are not-the same. Therefore a snow- 
ball should not be called an ice-ball, which latter might 
be a very dangerous missile. 

Pincushions are pincushions, and not pin-balls, 
unless they are of a globular shape. If in the form 
of hearts, diamonds, &c, they are not balls. 

When you are greatly fatigued, say so — and not 
that you are "almost beat out." When the Yankees 
are "beat out," the English are quite "knocked up." 

220 ' miss l/slie's behaviour book. 

The English are "starved with cold" — Americans 
only starve with hunger. They may perish with cold ; 
but unless hunger is added, they will not starve. 

It is wrong to say that certain articles of food are 
healthy or unhealthy. Wholesome and unwholesome 
are the "right words. A pig may be healthy or 
unhealthy while alive; but after he is t killed and 
becomes pork, he can enjoy no health, and suffer no 

If you have been accustomed to pronounce the 
word " does" as " doos," get rid of the custom as soon 
as you can. Also, give up saying " pint" for " point," 
"jint" for " joint," " anint" for "anoint," &c. Above 
all, cease saying " featur, creatur, natur, and raptur."' 

In New England it is not uncommon to hear the 
word "ugly" applied to a bad temper. We have 
heard, " He will never do for president, because he is 
so ugly." On our observing that we had always con- 
sidered the gentleman in question, as rather a hand- 
some man, it was explained that he was considered 
ugly in disposition. 

A British traveller, walking one day in a suburb of 
Boston, saw a woman out on a door-step whipping a 
screaming child. " Good woman," said the stranger, 
"why do you whip that boy so severely." She 
answered, " I will whip him, because he is so ugly." 
The Englishman walked on; but put down in his 
journal that "American mothers are so cruel as to 
beat their children, merely because they are not 

No genteel Bostonian should call Faneuil Hall, " Old 


Eunnel," or talk of the " Quinsey market," instead of 
Quincy, or speak of " Bacon street," or "Bacon Hill.'* 
That place was so called from a beacon, or signal-pole 
with* a light at the top, and never was particularly 
celebrated for the pickling and smoking of pork. 

The word "slump," or "slumped," has too coarse 
a sound to be used by a lady. 

When you have exchanged one article for another, 
say so, and not that you have " traded it." 

Do not say, " I should admire to read that book," 
"I should admire to hear that song," "I should 
admire to see the president." Substitute, "I should 
like to read that book," " I should like to hear that 
song," "I should like to see the president." 

Using the word " love" instead of "like" is not pecu- 
liar to the ladies of any section of the Union. But 
they may assure themselves it is wrong to talk of 
loving any thing that is eatable. They may like ter- 
rapins, oysters, chicken-salad, or ice-cream ; but they 
need not love terrapins or oysters, or love chicken- 

We remember, in the farce of Modern Antiques, 
laughing at an awkward servant-girl bringing in a 
dish of salad to a supper-table, before the company 
had assembled, and, after taking a large bite, turning 
her foolish face toward the audience, and saying, " I 
loves beet-root." 

Even if you are a provincial New-Yorker, give up 
calling the door-step or porch by the ancient Dutch 
name of "stoop," (stoep,) and do not talk of going out 
on the stoop, or sitting in the stoop. When a load of 

222 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

wood or coal is put down at jour door, say not that it 
is " dumped." Never speak of visiting friends that 
"live to Brooklyn," or "live to Newark." They live 
at those places, not to them. The word "muss" 
sounds badly, when a young lady says, "her scarf i3 
mussed," or her collar is "mussed"-^or that her 
bureau drawers are all in a muss. The English 
synonyme, "mess," has rather a better sound. Be it 
also remembered that a stool is not a bench. A bench 
holds several people, a stool but one. 

When you mean that an article of dress (a bonnet 
or a cap) is neat and pretty, do not say that it is 
cunning. An inanimate object cannot be cunning. 
To be cunning requires some mind. We are sorry to 
say that we have heard females who, when they 
intend to be witty, talk of taking a snooze, (which 
means a nap,) and speak of a comic anecdote as being 
"rich," and of a man in faded clothes as looking 
" seedy." We have heard Philadelphia ladies speak 
of a "great big" house, or a "great big" ship; and 
there are still some who expect what has already come 
to pass — as, " I expect it rained somewhere last night" 
— "I expect she arrived yesterday" — "I expect he 
went to Baltimore." In all these cases the proper 
term is "I suppose," and not "I expect." 

The word "mayhap" (instead of perhaps) is a posi- 
tive vulgarism. It is of English origin, but is only 
used in England by very low people — and by English 
writers, never. 

We have little tolerance for young ladies, who> 
aaving in reality neither wit nor humour, set up foi 


both, and having nothing of the right stock to go upon, 
substitute coarseness and impertinence, (not to say" 
impudence,) and try to excite laughter, and attract 
the attention of gentlemen, by talking slang. Where 
do they get it ? How do they pick it up ? From low 
newspapers, or from vulgar books ? Surely not from 
low companions? 

"We have heard one of these ladies, when her collar 
chanced to be pinned awry, say that it was put on 
drunk — also that her bonnet was drunk, meaning 
crooked on her head. When disconcerted, she was 
"floored." When submitting to do a thing unwill- 
ingly, "she was brought to the scratch." Sometimes 
" she did things on the sly." She talked of a certain 
great vocalist "singing like a beast." She believed 
it very smart and piquant to use these vile expressions. 
It is true, when at parties, she always had half a dozen 
gentlemen about her ; their curiosity being excited as 
to what she would say next. And yet she was a 
woman of many good qualities ; and one who boasted 
of having always "lived in society." 

We think that gentlemen lose a particle of their 
respect for young ladies who allow their names to be 
abbreviated into such cognomens as Kate, Madge, 
Bess, Nell, &c. Surely it is more lady-like to be 
called Catharine, Margaret, Eliza, or Ellen. We 
have heard the beautiful name Virginia degraded into 
Jinny; and Harriet called Hatty, or even Hadge. 

A very silly practice has been introduced of writing 
Sally, Sallie — Fanny, Fannie — Mary, Marie — Abby, 
Abbie, &c. What would our grand-parents have 

224 miss Leslie's beiiaviour boof 


thought of Pollie, Mollic, Peggie, Kittie, Nancie? 
Suppose young men were to adopt it, and sign them- 
selves, Sammie, Billie, Dickie, Tommie, &c. ! 

By-the-bye, unless he is a relation, let no young 
lady address a gentleman by his christian name. It 
is a familiarity which he will not like. 




Ant article you are likely to want on more than 
one occasion, it is better to buy than to borrow. If 
your own, you can have it always at hand : you will 
lay yourself under no obligation to a lender, and incur 
no responsibility as to its safety while in your posses- 
sion. But when you do borrow, see that the article is 
speedily returned. And, under no consideration, take 
the liberty of lending it to any person whatever, before 
restoring it to the owner. Apologies and expressions 
of regret are no compensation, should it be out of your 
power to replace it if injured or lost. 

When you ask to borrow a thing, do not say, "Will 
you loan it to me?" The word "loan" is, by good 
talkers, and good writers, never used but as a sub- 
stantive : notwithstanding that Johnson gives it as a 
verb also, but only on one obscir~ au' 1 v ity — and 
Johnson is not now regarded as infallible. To lend, 
not to loan, is the usual and proper expression. , As a 
substantive it is generally employed in a commercial 
and political sense, or to denote a large sum borrowed 
for a public and important purpose. It is true you 
can say, " May I request the loan of your fan ?" 
"Will you permit me to ask the loan of this 

miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

book?" But it is much easier and smoother to say 
simply, "Will you lend me your fan for a few 
minutes ?" "Will you be kind enough to lend me this 

No articles, perhaps, are more frequently borrowed 
than umbrellas, and none are returned with so little 
punctuality. Frequently, a borrowed umbrella is 
never thought of by the borrower, till after the 
weather clears up ; the lender, most probably, suffer- 
ing inconvenience for want of it. Often it is detained 
till the next rain, when the lender has to take the 
trouble of sending for it. And then it is very possible 
it may not be found at all ; some person in the mean 
time having nefariously carried it off. In such a case, 
it is a matter of common honesty for the careless bor- 
rower to replace that umbrella with a new one ; as she 
is not to suppose that empty expressions of regret or 
unmeaning apologies will be sufficient compensation 
for a substantial loss. 

To avoid any difficulties concerning umbrellas, it is 
safest, in cloudy weather, not to leave home without 
one. Many persons venture out beneath a threatening 
sky, unwilling to encumber themselves with an umbrella, 
which (possibly) they may not chance to require before 
they got home. Their dependance is on stopping in at 
the house of a friend, and borrowing one there. But 
is it not better to incommode yourself a little by carry- 
ing a closed umbrella, e\ ^you should not find occa- 
sion to use it, than to hasten i u,pidly through the street 
to reach a shelter when you find the rain beginning to 
drop ; and afterwards to deprive your friend, even tern- 


porarily, of an article which the wet weather may ren- 
der it inconvenient to spare. Also, you may be caught 
by a sudden shower, at a considerable distance from the 
dwelling of the person with whom you are acquainted, 
and you may find the omnibuses all full, (as they gene- 
rally are when it rains,) and no other vehicle in sight. 
Therefore, when the wind is in a rainy quarter, and 
the sky louring, be always on the safe side, and take 
an umbrella with you on leaving home. 

Every lady should own a small light umbrella, or else 
a very large parasol, of extra size, covered with strong 
India silk that will not easily tear or fade, and that 
may be used, on occasion, for either sun or rain ; and 
that will not be cumbrous to carry, though quite large 
enough to shelter one person. In truth, we have found 
but few umbrellas, however large, that could effectually 
cover two persons (unless they were people of very small 
size) so that the rain did not drop upon the off-shoulder 
of one or the other. You cannot be well screened by 
an umbrella, unless you carry it all the time steadily 
in your own hands, and over yourself alone. And 
politeness requires that you should give your com- 
panion the best of the shelter. So when two ladies go 
out together, the clouds portending rain, let each take 
an umbrella for herself, and then much injury to 
bonnets and shawls may be avoided. 

These small light umbrr' | are excellent to travel 
with, and especially use r . m the transit from car to 
steamboat, or even from the house to the carriage. 
When not in " actual service," keep this umbrella be- 
side you with your shawl and your travelling satchel. 



It will be useful during the journey, if packed away in 
a trunk.* 

When you purchase an umbrella, desire that, before 
sending it home, your name be engraved on the little 
plate at the termination of the handle, or else on the 
slide. "To make assurance doubly sure," you may 
get the name painted in full in small white or yellow 
letters on the inside of one of the gores of silk. These 
letters will not be conspicuous on the outside, but they 
will always serve to identify the umbrella. Your resi- 
dence (if permanent) may be added. When about to 
travel, sew a small card with your address near the 
bottom of one of the gores inside. This card may be 
changed when staying at a new place. With these 
precautions, and a little care, (unless you are habitu- 
ally thoughtless and forgetful,) you may carry an 
umbrella from Maine to Florida without losing it. 

All the members of a family should be provided 
with at least one rain- umbrella of their own, and these 
should be kept up-stairs when not likely to be wanted. 
There is always great danger of their being purloined, 
or borrowed, if left in the hall. Persons who would 
not, for the world, be known to pilfer a single .cent, 
are by no means particular with regard to detaining 
an umbrella or a book. 

Umbrellas for the kitchen can now be had as low as 

* In buying a handsome parasol or umbrella, see that it has a 
folding-joint in the middle of the stick, and that this joint works 
easily, so that there may be no difficulty in packing it in a trunk 
or box. To prevent the silk being rubbed, tie up the parasol in a 
smooth linen case, previous to packing. 


Beventy-five cents, or one dollar. If of coloured cotton 
(brown or blue) and highly glazed, they will turn off a 
moderate rain very well, but a drenching shower may 
cause the dye or colouring to run in streams. For 
very common use, though higher in price, the best are 
of oil-cloth, or of brown unbleached linen. The 
handsomest umbrellas are of blue or brown India 
silk, with steel frames, and a small silver name-plate 
on the handle. A green silk umbrella will soon be 
spoiled by the rain, and none look so badly in a short 
time. We have known a lady's bonnet entirely ruined 
by the drippings from a green parasol, hastily put up 
as a small screen from a sudden shower. No colour 
stands the sun and damp so badly as green. 

After borrowing an umbrella, fail not to send it 
back immediately, unless you have previously ascer- 
tained from the owner that it will not be wanted for 
two or three hours. In that case, you will have time 
to dry it before it goes home ; and this should de done 
as soon as possible, that it may be returned in good 
order. If left in the entry or hall, it may be carried 
off; or, in plain words, stolen. Let it be dried under 
your own inspection, spreading it wide open, and 
standing it on the floor. If dried fast, and in an ex- 
panded position, the wetting will not perceptibly 
injure it. But if left shut and standing up closed, 
with the wet soaking into the umbrella, it will dry 
in discoloured streaks, and be spoiled. If the spring 
or any other part of a borrowed umbrella gets broken 
or injured while in your possession, be sure to have it 
repaired before sending home. There is a meanness 

230 miss Leslie's beha\ >ok. 

verging on dishonesty in leaving this to be done by 
the owner. 

If the chea^) or common umbrellas are given up to 
the care of the domestics, and kept in the kitchen, in 
all probability they will soon disappear altogether, 
and be no longer forthcoming when wanted. They 
will lend them to their friends, and lose them in various 
ways. The umbrellas should be kept in some small 
room or closet up-stairs ; and when required, the ser- 
vants should come and ask for them ; bringing them 
back when done with, and dried. 

When you go out to tea, even in a summer evening, 
carry a shawl on your arm to throw over your shoulders 
before coming out into the night-air. This will preclude 
the necessity of borrowing one of your friend, should 
the weather have changed and grown cooler. Also, to 
prevent any risk from damp pavements, take with you 
a pair of over-shoes, (India-rubber, of course,) or else a 
pair of inside-soles, such as you can conveniently slip 
into your pocket. We have found no inside-soles 
equal to those of lamb-skin with the wool left on the 
upper-side ; the under-side of the" skin being coated 
with India-rubber varnish to render them water-proof. 
These soles are both warm and dry, and are far plea- 
santer than cork 'soles covered with flannel, and more 
lasting. But if you are obliged to borrow things to 
wear home, see that they are sent back next morning, 
if not the same evening, and in good order — the shawl 
well-dried from the damp, and folded smoothly, and 
the over-shoes cleaned nicely. 

Always take a fan with you on going to a place of 


pubiic amusement. You will be sure to require it, and 
it is better than to depend on fanning yourself with the 
bill or programme, or borrowing the fan of a more pro- 
vident friend, and perhaps forgetting to return it. 

With regard to the practice of borrowing articles 
of household use, it is generally a custom "more 
honoured in the breach than the observance," par- 
ticularly when living in a place where all such things 
can be easily obtained by sending to the shops. There 
are persons who, with ample means of providing them- 
selves with all that is necessary for domestic service, 
are continually troubling their neighbours for the loan 
of a hammer, a screw-driver, a gimlet, a carpet- 
stretcher, a bed-stead screw, a fluting-iron, a preserv- 
ing kettle, jelly-moulds, ice-cream freezers, &c. &c. 
If these or any other articles must be borrowed, let 
them be returned promptly, and in good order. 
. If, in consequence of the unexpected arrival of 
company, any thing for the table is borrowed of a 
neighbour, such as tea, coffee, butter, &c, see that it 
is punctually returned; equal in quantity, and in 
quality; or rather superior. Habitual borrowers are 
very apt to forget this piece of honesty, either neglect- 
ing to return the things at all, or meanly substi- 
tuting inferior articles — or perhaps laying themselves 
under such an imputation without actually deserving 
it, should the lender be ill-natured or untruthful. 
There is a homely proverb, " To go a-borr owing is to 
go a-sorr owing." 

We have been told of a very aristocratic but very 
economical lady, in one of our large cities, who was in 


the almost daily practice of borrowing things of a 
neighbour to whom she never condescended to s} 
On one occasion she borrowed the use of that neigh- 
bour's fire to roast a pair of fowls. 

Avoid borrowing change, or small sums. It is 
possible that you may really forget to repay them; 
but then it is also possible that you may be suspected 
of forgetting wilfully. So do not trust much to your 
memory. It is a true remark, that there are few 
instances of a borrower being so oblivious as to offer 
twice over the return of a small loan, forgetting that 
it had been paid already. 

In borrowing a dress as a pattern, it is safest not 
to try it upon yourself, lest some part of the body 
should be stretched or frayed. Also, in trying on a 
bonnet or cap that is not your own, refrain from tying 
the strings ; as every tying will give them additional 
wrinkles or rumples, and perhaps somewhat soil them. 
Never put on another person's gloves. 

Should you be staying at a boarding-house, do not 
depend on "the lady in the next room," or any other 
lady, to lend you things which you can procure quite 
as easily as she can. Keep yourself always provided 
with pen, ink, and paper, envelopes, wafers, sealing- 
wax, pencils, post-office stamps, &c. Also with sewing 

When a friend lends you a handkerchief, a collar, 
or any other washable article, see that it is nicely 
washed, and done up, before returning it to her, — and 
do so promptly. If an article of jewellery, carry it 
back to her yourself, and put it into her own hand, to 


preclude all risk of loss. She will not be so ungene- 
rous as to tell any person that she has lent it to you ; 
and will for a while afterward, refrain from wearing 
it herself, in any company where it may be recognized. 

Should a visiter accidentally leave her handkerchief 
at your house, have it washed and ironed before re- 
storing it to her. 

On borrowing a book, immediately put a cover upon 
it — and let the cover be of clean, smooth, white or 
light-coloured paper. What is called nankeen paper 
is best and strongest for this purpose. Newspaper, or 
any paper that is printed, makes a vile book-cover. 
Beside its mean and dirty appearance, the printing- 
ink will not only soil your own hands while reading, 
but will do more injury to the binding than if it was 
left uncovered. 

To cover a book neatly — take a sheet of nice paper 
of more than sufficient size, and lay the book open 
upon it. Cut a notch or indentation at the top and 
bottom of this paper, so as to admit the back of the 
book, making the notch exactly the width of the back, 
and two or three inches deep. Fold down the edges 
of the paper straightly, smoothly, and evenly, over 
the edges of the binding or cover. Fold the corners 
of the paper nicely underneath, (trimming off the 
superfluous paper that turns under,) making them lie 
as flat as possible. You may secure all the folds at 
the corners with small wafers, pins, or paste-cement. 
If you use pins, take care to stick them so as not to 
scratch the inside of the binding, or to prick and tear 
the fly-leaves. The paper-cover should not only 1*3 


strong, but smooth also; if coarse and rough, it will 
injure the binding. When you send the book home, 
put it up neatly, so as to make a well-looking package ; 
secured with either a string or a seal, and direct it 
to the owner. 

If the book is a pamphlet, and the sewing-thread 
gives way, sew it again, with a large needle and a 
strong brown thread — not white cotton. If not sewed 
immediately, it will fall apart, and some leaves may 
drop out, and be lost. If, by any unlucky accident, 
a leaf is torn, lay the two pieces nicely together, and 
sew them, lightly, with a rather fine thread. But if 
one side of the torn page is blank, it will be best to 
mend it by pasting a small narrow slip of white paper 
underneath, so as to unite the torn edges neatly. 

You may have excellent paste or cement, continu 
ally at hand, by buying at a druggist's an ounce of 
the best and cleanest gum tragacanth, with a little bit 
of corrosive sublimate not larger than a grain of corn, 
and dissolving them in a large half-pint of clear water, 
either warm or cold. Pick the gum tragacanth very 
clean, freeing it carefully from all dust and impurities. 
Put it with the corrosive sublimate into a white or 
queensware vessel having a close cover, and holding a 
pint, to allow for swelling.,; Pour on the water; cover 
it closely; and stir it with a stick, several times 
during the day. When sufficiently dissolved, the 
paste will be smooth throughout. The corrosive 
sublimate will cause it to keep good for a year or 
more; and it is an excellent and most convenient 
cement for all purposes, from wall-paper to artificial 


flowers. It must on no account be kept in a metai 
vessel or be stirred with a metal spoon, as it will then 
turn black. No house should be without this paste — 
and it should find a place in every library and office. 
When it is nearly used up, and becomes dry at the 
bottom, pour on a little water, and it will dissolve 

Make no remarks with pen or pencil on the margin 
of any book that does not belong to yourself. What- 
ever may be your own opinion of certain passages, 
you have no right to disturb other readers by obtrud- 
ing upon them these opinions, unasked for. The 
pleasure of reading a book from a public library, is 
frequently marred by finding, as you proceed, that 
some impertinent fools have been before you, and 
scribbled their silly comments all through; or in- 
dulged in sneers and vituperations directed at the 
author. You may lessen this annoyance by turning 
over all the leaves before you begin reading, and 
erasing all the marginal remarks with India rubber; 
and this will also be an act of kindness to the next 
reader after yourself. When written with ink, (as is 
often the case,) there is no remedy; and you must 
endure the infliction of being annoyed throughout the 
book by these gratuitous criticisms. In a book, even 
belonging to yourself, it is well to use the pencil 
sparingly; and only to correct an error of the press, 
or a chronological mistake of the author. All readers 
like to form their own opinions as they go along, 
without any prompting from those who have preceded 


Never, on any consideration, allow yourself to lend 
a borrowed book. If requested to do so, it should bo 
a sufficient excuse to say that "it is not your own." 
But if still urged, persist in declining steadily ; for it 
is a liberty you have no right to take with any article 
belonging to another. Even if the owner is your 
Bister, you should lend nothing of hers without first 
obtaining her permission. Whatever you borrow your- 
self, should pass safely from your hands to those of 
the owner. If a friend of yours is very desirous of 
reading a borrowed book, and has no other means of 
obtaining it, and you think you can depend on her 
carefulness and punctuality, (not else,) you may promise 
" to request for her the favour." And when the owner 
has consented, (and not till then,) you may transfer the 
book to the new borrower with strict injunctions to take 
great care of it, and to return it as soon as possible. 

I have known a borrowed book travel round a whole 
circle of relations and acquaintances, till, when sent 
home at last, it was literally worn out by dint of use. 
And this when nearly the whole set were persons who 
could well afford to buy all they were desirous of 
reading. Many ladies like very well to read when 
they can do so at the cost of their friends ; but they 
seem to regard the purchase of any thing to improve 
the mind, or amuse the fancy, as throwing away 
money which they would expend more to their satis- 
faction in articles of personal decoration. And is it 
not melancholy to see an intelligent child craving in 
vain for books, while bedizened with finery to gratify 
the vanity of an ostentatious mother ? 


If, with the permission of the owner, you have lent 
a borrowed book to a person who, having lost or in- 
jured it, still has the presumption to ask you to 
intercede for the loan of another, you are bound to 
refuse the request ; and do so with civility but steadi- 
ness, assigning the true reason. It may be a salutary 
lesson to that borrower. 

Remember never to send home any article in a 
wrapper of newspaper. Keep always in the house a 
supply of good wrapping-paper, bought for the pur- 
pose, and also of balls of twine. For putting up 
small things, what is called shoe-paper is very useful. 
It is both nice and cheap, selling from fifty to sixty 
cents per ream, according to the size, and there are 
twenty quires in a ream. There are varieties of 
stronger and larger wrapping-paper for articles that 
require such, and for parcels that are to be sent to 
far-off places, or to go by public conveyances. Such 
packages are best secured by red tape and sealing- 
wax. At every stationer's may be purchased all 
varieties of paper. 

Be particularly careful of borrowed magazines, as 
the loss of one number spoils a whole set, and you 
may find great difficulty in replacing a lost number. 
Even a newspaper should be punctually returned. 
The owner may wish to file it, or to send it away to a 
friend. If lost or defaced while in your possession, 
send to the publishing-office and buy another. It is 
unsafe to leave the book you are reading in the par- 
lour of a hotel. Always carry it away with you, 

whenever you quit the room — otherwise you will be 
likely to sec it no more. 

In America, books are so cheap (not to mention tho 
numerous public libraries) that in most instances all 
who can afford it had better buy than borrow, par- 
ticularly such works as are worth a second reading. 
If you find your books accumulating inconveniently, 
give away a portion of them to some lover of reading, 
w 7 ho, less fortunate than yourself, is unable to expend 
much money with the booksellers. 

I have often wondered to see a fair young stranger 
sitting day after day, idle and listless in the drawing- 
room of a hotel, when she might have known that 
there w T ere bookstores in the immediate neighbourhood. 

If, while in your possession, a borrowed book is 
irreparably injured, it is your duty to replace it by 
purchasing for the owner another copy. And, if that 
cannot be procured, all you can do is to buy a work of 
equal value, and to present that, as the only .compen- 
sation in your power. Observe the same rule with all 
borrowed articles, lost or injured. The lender is 
surely not the person to suffer from the carelessness 
of the borrower. Leave no borrowed books in the 
way of children, and never give a young child a book 
to play with. Eat no cake or fruit over an open 
book, lest it be greased or stained. And take care 
Dot to blister or spoil the binding by down 
in a wet place, for instance, on a slopped table. 

Some young ladies have a bad habit of biting their 
fingers, especially if they rejoice in handsome hands ; 
and the same ladies, by way of variety, are prone to 


bite the corners of books, and the edges of closed fans. 
So it is dangerous to trust these articles in their 
vicinity. We have seen the corners of an elegant 
Annual nearly bitten off at a centre-table in the 
course of one evening. And we have seen ice-cream 
eaten and wine drank over an open port-folio of 
beautiful engravings. 

By-the-bye, in taking up a print to look at it, always 
extend it carefully with both hands, that the paper may 
be in no danger of cracking or rumpling, which it 
cannot escape if held but in one hand, particularly if 
there is a breeze blowing near it. To show a large 
engraving without risk of injury, spread it out smoothly 
on a table ; keeping it flat by means of books or other 
weights, laid carefully down on the corners, and, if the 
plate is very large, at the sides also. And let no one 
lean their elbows upon it. 

, It is an irksome task to show any sort of picture to 
people wfco have neither taste, knowledge, nor enjoy- 
ment of the art. There are persons (ungenteel ones, 
it is true) who seem to have no other pleasure, when 
looking at a fine print or picture, than in trying^to 
discover in the figures or faces, fancied resemblances 
to those of some individuals of their own circle : 
loudly declaring for instance, that, " Queen Victoria is 
the very image of Sarah Smith;" " Prince Albert an 
exact likeness of Dick Brown ;" "the Duke of Welling- 
ton the very ditto of old Captain Jones," &c. &c. To 
those "who have no painting in their souls," there is 
little use in showing or explaining any fine specimen 
of that noblest cf the fine arts. We have heard a 


gentleman doubting whether a capital portrait of 
Franklin was not General Washington in his every- 
day dress. We could fill pages with the absurd re- 
marks we have heard on pictures, even from persons 
who have had a costly education put at them. There are 
ladies who can with difficulty be made to understand 
the difference between a painting and an engraving — 
others who think that " the same man always makes 
both." Some call a coloured print a painting — others 
talk* of themselves fainting pictures in albums — not 
understanding that, properly speaking, they are water- 
colour drawings when done on paper and with transpa- 
rent tintings — while pictures are painted with oil or 
opaque colours on canvas or board. Frescoes are 
painted on new walls before the plastering is quite 
dry, so that the colours incorporate at once with the 
plaster, and dry along with it; acquiring in that 
manner a surprising permanency. 

There is another very common error, that fcf calling 

* We were a few years since, told by one of our principal book- 
sellers that a young lady came into his store when he chanced to 
be at the counter himself, and, showing him a small English prayer- 
book elegantly bound, and with fine engravings, she enquired if he 
had any exactly like that. On his replying in the negative, she 
desired that he would get precisely such a prayer-book made for 
her, in time for church on Sunday morning — (it was then Friday) 
— as she had set her mind on it. It must have just such pictures, 
and just such a beautiful gilt cover. He endeavoured in vain to 
convince her of the utter impossibility of performing this feat of 
having one single book printed, and bound, with plates engraved 
purposely for it, and all in the space of a day and a half. She 
seemed much displeased, and went away, in search, as she said, 
of a bookseller that was more obliging. 


a diorama a panorama. A panorama, correctly speak- 
ing, is a large circular representation of one place only, 
(such as Koine, Athens, Thebes, Paris,) comprising as 
much as the eye can take in at a view. The spec- 
tators, looking from an elevated platform in the centre, 
see the painting all around them in every direction, 
and appearing the size of reality, but always stationary. 
The panoramas exhibited successively in London by 
Barker, Burford, Catherwood and others, are admi- 
rable and truthful views of the places they represent ; 
and after viewing them a few minutes, you can 
scarcely believe that you are not actually there, and 
looking at real objects. A few of these triumphs of 
perspective and colouring, have been brought to Ame- 
rica. It were much to be wished that an arrange- 
ment could be made for conveying every one of these 
fine panoramas successively across the Atlantic, and 
exhibiting them in all our principal cities. It would 
be a good speculation. 

It is difficult to imagine whence originated the 
mistake of calling a diorama a panorama, which it 
is not. A diorama is one of those numerous flat- 
surface paintings of which we have had so many, (and 
some few of them very good,) and which, moving on 
unseen rollers, glide or slide along, displaying every 
few minutes a new portion of the scenery. 

The error has grown so common that persons fall 
habitually into it, though knowing all the time that it 
?s an error. To correct it, let the exhibiters of dio- 
ramas cease to call them 'panoramas, and give them 
their proper name, both in their advertisements and 

242 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

m their verbal descriptions. Scbron's magnificent 
representation of the departure of the Israelites, that 
looked so amazingly real, was not a diorama, for it 
did not move, and not a panorama, for it was not cir- 
cular. But it was a colossal picture, so excellent 
that at the first glance it seemed to be no picture at 
all, but the real scene, with the real people. 

OFFENCES. 24 'f 



If the visits of an acquaintance become less fre- 
quent than formerly, the falling off is not always to 
be imputed to want of regard for you, or to having 
lost all pleasure in your society. The cause may be 
want of time, removal to a distance, precarious health, 
care of children, absence from town, family troubles, 
depressed fortunes, and various other circumstances. 
Also, with none of these causes, visiting may gradually 
and almost insensibly decline, and neither of the 
parties have the slightest dislike to each other. If no 
offence has been intended, none should be taken ; and 
when you chance to meet, instead of consuming the 
time in complaints of estrangement, meet as if your 
intercourse had never been interrupted, and you will 
find it very easy to renew it ; and perhaps on a better 
footing than before. The renewal should be marked 
by a prompt interchange of special invitations — 
followed by visits. 

Unless your rooms are spacious, you cannot have 
what is called a large general party. Some of your 
acquaintances must be omitted, and all that are left 
out. are generally offended. Therefore it is not well 

-II miss Leslie's behaviour bc 

ever to have such parties, unless your accommodations 

arc ample. Squeezes are out of fashion in the 
American society. We have heard of parties at great 
houses in London, where, after the rooms were crowded 
to suffocation, a large portion of the company had tc 
pass the evening on the stairs; and where coaches, 
unable to draw up from the immense number of these 
vehicles that were in advance, had to remain all night 
at the foot of the line, with ladies sitting in them. 
When morning came, they had to turn back, and 
drive home, the carriages being all they saw of tho 

It is better to give two or three moderate enter- 
tainments in the course of the season, than to crowd 
your rooms uncomfortably; and even then to risk 
giving offence to those who could not be added to the 

If such offence has been given, try to atone for it 
by inviting the offended to dine with you, or to pass 
an evening, and asking at the same time a few pleasant 
people whom you know she likes. 

You may have a very intimate and sincere friend 
who does not find it convenient to send for you every 
time she has company. If, in all things else, she 
treats you with uniform kindness, and gives reason 
to believe that she has a true affection for you, pass 
over these occasional omissions of invitation, and 
do not call her to account, or treat her coolly 
when you see her. True friendship ought not de- 
pend upon parties. It should be based on a better 


If no answer is returned to a note of invitation, be 
not hasty in supposing that the omission has sprung 
from rudeness or neglect. Trust that your friend is 
neither rude nor neglectful; and believe that the an- 
swer was duly sent, but that it miscarried from some 
accidental circumstance. 

A friend may inadvertently say something that 
you do not like to hear, or may make a remark that 
is 'not pleasant to you. Unless it is prefaced with a 
previous apology; or unless she desires you "not to 
be offended at what she is going to say;" or unless 
she informs. you that "she considers it her duty always 
to speak her mind," — you have no right to suppose the 
offence premeditated, and therefore you should restrain 
your temper, and calmly endeavour to convince her 
that she is wrong; or else acknowledge that she is 
right. She ought then to apologize for what she said, 
and you should immediately change the subject, and 
never again refer to it. In this way quarrels may be 
prevented, and ill-feeling crushed in the bud'. When 
what is called "a coolness" takes place between 
friends, the longer it goes on the more difficult it is 
to get over. But "better late than never." If, on 
consideration, you find that you were in the wrong, 
let no false pride, no stubborn perverseness prevent 
you from making that acknowledgement. If your 
friend, on her part, first shows a desire for reconcili- 
ation, meet her half-way. A vindictive disposition is 
a bad one, and revenge is a most unchristian feeling. 
People of sense (unless the injury is very great, and 
of lasting consequences) are easy to appease, because 


they generally have good feelings, and know how to 
listen to reason. Dr. Watts most truly says — 

"The wise will let their anger cool, 

At least before 'tis night ; 
But in the bosom of a fool, 

It burns till morning light." 

Should you chance to be thrown into the presence 
of persons who have proved themselves your enemies, 
and with whom you can have no intercourse, say 
nothing either to them or at them ; and do not place 
yourself in their vicinity. To talk at a person, is 
mean and vulgar. Those who do it are fully capable 
of writing anonymous and insulting letters ; and they 
often do so. High-minded people will always be 
scrupulously careful in observing toward those with 
whom they are at variance, all the ceremonies usual 
in polite society — particularly the conventional civili- 
ties of the table. 

If you have, unfortunately, had a quarrel with a 
friend, talk of it to others as little as possible ; lest in 
the heat of anger, you may give an exaggerated ac- 
count, and represent your adversary in darker colours 
than she deserves. You may be very sure these mis- 
representations will reach her ear, and be greatly 
magnified by every successive relater. In this way a 
trifle may be swelled into importance ; a mole-hill may 
become a mountain ; and a slight affront may embitter 
the feelings of future years. "Blessed are the peace- 
makers," — and a mutual friend, if well-disposed toward 
both opponents, generally has it in her power to effect 


a reconciliation, by repeating, kindly, any favourable 
remark she may chance to have heard one of the 
offended parties make on the other. In truth, we 
wish it were the universal custom for all people to tell 
other people whatever good they may hear of them — ■ 
instead of the wicked and hateful practice of telling 
only the bad. Make it a rule to repeat to your friends 
all the pleasant remarks that (as far as you know) are 
made on them, and you will increase their happiness, 
and your own popularity. We do not mean that you 
should flatter them, by reciting compliments that are 
not true; but truth is not flattery, and there is no 
reason why agreeable truths should not always be 
told. There would then be far more kind feeling in 
the world. Few persons are so bad as not to have 
some good in them. Let them hear of the good. 
Few are so ugly as not to have about them something 
commendable even externally, if it is only a becoming 
dress. Let them hear of that dress. Flattery is 
A raise without foundation. To tell a person with 
heavy, dull gray eyes, that her eyes are of a bright 
and beautiful blue; to talk of her golden locks to a 
woman with positive red hair of the tint called 
carroty; to tell a long, thin, stoop-shouldered girl, 
that she possesses the light and airy form of a sylph; 
or a short-necked, fat one 'that her figure has the 
dignity of an empress; to assure a faded matron 
that she looks like a young girl; to fall into rap- 
tures on listening to bad music, or when viewing a 
drawing that depicts nothing intelligible ; or praising 
album poetry that has neither " rhyme nor reason,"— 

miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

all tlus is gross flattery, which the object (if she lias 
any sense) will easily detect, and suspect that you are 
trying experiments on her vanity and credulity. 

Still where agreeable qualities really exist, it is not 
amiss to allude to them delicately. It will give plea- 
sure without compromising veracity. 

When any thing complimentary is said to you, 
acknowledge it by a bow and smile, but do not at- 
tempt an answer unless you can say something in 
return that will be equally sincere and pleasant. 
Most probably you cannot; therefore look gratified, 
and bow your thanks, but remain silent. Few ladies 
are distinguished, like the Harriet Byron of Grandi- 
son, " for a very pretty manner of returning a com- 
pliment." Do not reject the compliment by pretend- 
ing to prove that you cfo not deserve it. But if it is 
a piece of bare-faced flattery, the best answer is to look 
gravely, and say or do nothing. 

Should you chance accidentally to overhear a re- 
mark to your disadvantage, consider first if there may 
not be some truth in it. If you feel that there is, turn 
it to profitable account, and try to improve, or to get 
rid of the fault, whatever it may be. But never show 
resentment at any thing not intended for your ear. 
unless it is something of such vital importance as to 
render it necessary that you should come forward in 
self-defence. These instances, however, are of .rare 

Jf you are so placed that you can hear the con- 
versation of persons who are talking abjut you, 
it is very mean to sit there and listen, lmme 


diately remove to a distance far enough to be out of 

It is a proverb that listeners seldom hear any good 
of themselves. It were a pity if they should. Eaves- 
dropping or listening beneath an open window, the 
crack of a door, or through a key-hole, are as dis- 
honourable as to pick pockets. 

k J50 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 


obligations to gentlemeh. 

In her intercourse with gentlemen, a lady should 
take care to avoid all pecuniary obligations. The civi- 
lity that a gentleman conventionally owes to a lady is 
a sufficient tax — more she has no right to expect, or to 
accept. A man of good sense, and of true politeness, 
will not be offended at her unwillingness to become his 
debtor. On the contrary, he will respect her delicacy, 
and approve her dignity ; and consent at once to her 
becoming her own banker on all occasions where ex- 
pense is to be incurred. This is the custom in 
Europe ; and is, in most cases, a very good one. 

When invited to join a party to a place of amuse- 
ment, let her consent, if she wishes ; but let her state 
expressly that it is only on condition of being per- 
mitted to pay for her own ticket. If she steadily 
adheres to this custom, it will soon be understood that 
such is always her commendable practice; and she 
can then, with perfect propriety, at any time, ask for 
a seat among friends who intend going. To this 
accommodation she could not invite herself, if in the 
continual habit of visiting public places at the ex- 
pense of others. The best time for a lady to pay for 
herself is to put her money into the hand of the gen- 


tleman previous to their departure for the place of 
performance. He will not be so rude as to refuse to 
take it. If he does refuse, she should evince her re- 
sentment by going with him no more. 

Young men of limited means are frequently drawn 
into expenses they can ill afford, by being acquainted 
with young ladies who profess a passion for equestrian 
exercises — a most inconvenient passion for one who 
has not a horse of her own, or who lives in a family 
where no horses are kept. If her gentleman is 
obliged to hire, not only a horse for himself, but also 
one for the lady, let her have sufficient consideration 
not to propose to him that they should take rides 
together — and let her not draw him into an invitation, 
by her dwelling excessively on the delight of horse- 
back excursions. In cities, these rides are expensive 
luxuries to those who keep no horses. Few city ladies 
ride well, (even if they have been at riding-school,) for 
want of daily practice out of doors. They are not 
exactly at ease on the horse, and always seem some- 
what afraid of him ; at least till they are " off the 
stones," and out in the open country. While in the 
streets, the rare sight of a lady on horseback attracts 
much attention, and a crowd of boys gathers round to 
see her mount her steed, or alight from it. This to a 
young lady of delicacy is very embarrassing, or ought 
to be. 

In the country, the case is totally different. There, 
"practice makes perfect." The ladies, being ac- 
customed to riding their own horses from childhood, 
acquire the art without any trouble, have no fear, feel 


perfectly at Lome in the saddle, and therefore sit 
gracefully, and manage their steeds easily. And as 
every country gentleman has a riding-horse of hi3 
•own, he can accompany a lady without the expense of 

Lay no wagers with gentlemen, and have no philo- 
penas with them. In betting with a lady, it is cus- 
tomary for the gentleman to pay whether he wins or 
loses. What then does the wager imply, but a rapa- 
cious and mean desire on the part of the lady to " get 
a present out of him" — as such ladies would express 
it. No delicate and refined female ever bets at all. 
It is a very coarse and masculine way of asserting an 
opinion or a belief; and always reminds gentlemen of 
the race-course, or the gaming-table. 

We disapprove of ladies going to charity-fairs in the 
evening, when they require a male escort — and when 
that escort is likely to be drawn into paying exorbi- 
tant prices for gifts to his fair companion — particu- 
larly, if induced to do so from the fear of appearing 
mean, or of being thought wanting in benevolence. 
In the evening, the young ladies who "have tables," 
are apt to become especially importunate in urging 
the sale of their goods — and appear to great disad- 
vantage as imitation-shop-keepers, exhibiting a bold- 
ness in teazing that no real saleswoman would pre- 
sume to display. Then the crowd is generally great ; the 
squeezing and pushing very uncomfortable ; and most 
of the company far from genteel. Ladies who are 
ladies, should only visit fancy-fairs in the day-time, 
when they can go without gentlemen ; none of whom 


take much pleasure in this mode of raising money ; or 
rather of levying contributions for special purposes. 
There are other ways that are more lady-like, more 
effective, less fatiguing, and more satisfactory to all 
concerned — and far less detrimental to the interests 
of the numerous poor women who get their living by 
their needles, or by their ingenuity in making orna- 
mental nick-nacks for sale, and who ask but a fair 
price for them. Dress-makers are frequently induced 
to keep back portions of silk, the rightful property of 
their customers, who may afterwards be put to great 
inconvenience for want of them, when the dress is to 
be altered or repaired. And these pieces are given to 
the ladies who go about begging for materials to make 
pincushions, &c. for fancy-fairs. This is dishonest. 
Let them go to a store and buy small pieces of silk, 
velvet, ribbon, and whatever they want for these 

If you have occasion to send by a gentleman a 
package to a transportation-office, give him along 
with it the money to pay for its carriage. If you 
borrow change, (even one cent,) return it to him 
punctually. He ought to take it as a thing of course, 
without any comment. When you commission him to 
buy any thing for you, if you know the price, give the 
money beforehand ; otherwise, pay it as soon as he 
brings the article. Do all such things promptly, lest 
they should escape your memory if delayed. 

When visiting a fancy-store with a gentleman, re- 
frain from excessively admiring any handsome or 
expensive article you may chance to see there. Above 

254 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

all, express no wish that you were able to buy it, and 
no regret that you cannot, lest he should construe 
these extreme tokens of admiration into hints that 
you wish him to buy it for you. To allow him to do 
so, would on your part be very mean and indelicate, 
and on his very foolish. 

It ought to be a very painful office (and is a very 
improper one) for young ladies to go round soliciting 
from gentlemen subscriptions for charitable purposes. 
Still it is done. Subscription-papers should only be 
offered by persons somewhat advanced in life, and of 
undoubted respectability — and then the application 
should be made, exclusively, to those whose circum- 
stances are known to be affluent. People who have 
not much to give, generally prefer giving that little 
to objects of charity within their own knowledge. 
Who is there that does not know a poor family? 
And without actually giving money, (which in too 
many instances, is immediately appropriated by a 
drunken husband to supply himself with more drink,) 
much may be done to procure a few comforts for a 
miserable wife and children. 

When you ask money for a charitable purpose, do 
so only when quite alone with the person to whom 
you apply. It is taking an undue advantage to make 
the request in presence of others — particularly if, as 
before observed, there is not wealth as well as benevo- 
lence. There is a time for all things — and young 
ladies are deservedly unpopular when, even in the 
cause of charity, they seize every opportunity to xevy 
contributions on the purses of gentlemen. 


It is wrons: to trouble gentlemen with commission 
that may cause them inconvenience or expense. In 
the awful days of bandboxes, unfortunate young men 
riding in stages were sometimes required to convey 
one of these cumbrous receptacles of bonnets and caps 
% day's journey upon their knees, to save it from rain 
©utside. Sometimes an immense package containing 
an immense shawl. We knew an officer who, by 
particular desire, actually carried three great shawls 
several hundred miles; each bundle to be delivered at 
a different house in "the City of Magnificent Dis- 
tances." But as to officers, "sufferance is the badge 
of all their tribe." Now these shawls should all have 
been sent by the public line, even if the transportation 
did cost something. 

"We repeat, that a lady cannot be too particular in 
placing herself under obligations to a gentleman. 
She should scrupulously avoid it in every little thing 
that may involve him in expense on her account. 
And he will respect her the more. 




On being introduced to a female writer, it is rude to 
Bay that "you have long had a great curiosity to see 
her." Curiosity is not the right word. It is polite to 
imply that, "knowing her well by reputation, you are 
glad to have an opportunity of making her personal 
acquaintance." Say nothing concerning her writings, 
unless you chance to be alone with her. Take care 
not to speak of her first work as being her best; for 
if it is really so, she must have been retrograding 
from that time ; a falling off that she will not like to 
hear of. Perhaps the truth may be, that you your- 
self nave read only her first work ; and if you tell her 
this, she will not be much flattered in supposing that 
you, in reality, cared so little for her first book, as to 
feel no desire to try a second. But she will be really 
gratified to learn that you are acquainted with most 
of her writings ; and, in the course of conversation, it 
will be very pleasant for her to hear you quote some- 
thing from them. 

If she is a writer of fiction, and you presume to 
take the liberty of criticising her works, (as you may 
at her own request, or if you are her intimate friend.) 
refrain from urging that certain incidents are improha- 


ble, and certain characters unnatural. Of this it is 
impossible for you to judge, unless you could have 
lived the very same life that she has ; known exactly 
the same people; and inhabited with her the same 
places. Remember always that "Truth is stranger 
than fiction." The French say — "Le vrai n'est pas 
toujours le plus vraisemblable," — which, literally trans- 
lated, means that "Truth is not always the most truth- 
like." Also, be it understood that a woman of quick 
perception and good memory can see and recollect a 
thousand things which would never be noticed or 
remembered by an obtuse or shallow, common-place 
capacity. And the intellect of a good writer of fiction 
is always brightened by the practice of taking in and 
laying up ideas with a view toward turning them to 
professional use. Trust in her, and believe that she 
has painted from life. A sensible fictionist always 
does. At the same time, be not too curious in 
questioning her as to the identity of her personages 
and the reality of her incidents. You have no right 
to expect that she will expose to you, or to any one 
else, her process of arranging the story, bringing out 
the characters, or concocting the dialogue. The 
machinery of her work, and the hidden springs which 
set it in motion, she naturally wishes to keep to her- 
self; and she cannot be expected to lay them bare for 
the gratification of impertinent curiosity, letting them 
become subjects of idle gossip. Be satisfied to take 
her works as you find them. If you like them, read 
and commend them; but do not ask her to conduct 
you behind the scenes, and show you the mysteries of 


nor art — for writing is really an art, and one that 

cannot bo acquired, to any advantage, without a cer- 
tain amount of talent, taste, and cultivation, to say 
nothing of genius. What right have you to expect- 
that your literary friend will trust you with "the 
secrets of her prison-house," and put it into your 
power to betray her confidence by acquainting the 
world that a certain popular novelist has informed 
you with her own lips ("but it must on no account be 
mentioned, as the disclosure would give mortal offence, 
and create for her hosts of enemies,") that by her 
character of Fanny Gadfly she really means Lucy 
Giddings; that Mr. Hardcastle signifies Mr. Stone; 
that Old Wigmore was modelled on no less a person 
than Isaac Baldwin; that Mrs. Bashings was taken 
from Mrs. Sunning ; and Mrs. Babes from Mrs. Chil- 
ders — &c. &c. Also, do not expect her to tell you on 
what facts her incidents were founded, and whether 
there was any truth in them, or if they were mere 

Be not inquisitive as to the length of time con- 
sumed in writing this book or that — or how soon the 
work now on hand will be finished. It can scarcely 
be any concern of yours, and the writer may have rea- 
sons for keeping back the information. Rest assured 
that whenever a public announcement of a new book 
is expedient, it will certainly be made in print. 

There are persons so rude as to question a literary 
woman (even on a slight acquaintance) as to the re- 
muneration she receives for her writings — in plain 
terms, "How much did you get for that? and how 


much are you to have for this ? And how much do 
you make in the course of a year ? And how much a, 
page do you get? And how many pages can you 
write in a day ?" 

To any impertinent questions from a stranger-lady 
concerning the profits of your pen, reply concisely, 
that these things are secrets between yourself and 
your publishers. If you kindly condescend to answer 
without evasion, these polite enquiries, you will pro- 
bably hear such exclamations as, " Why, really — you 
must be coining money. I think I'll write books 
myself! There can't be a better trade," &c. 

Ignorant people always suppose that popular writers 
are wonderfully well-paid — and must be making rapid 
fortunes — because they neither starve in garrets, nor 
wear rags — at least in America. 

Never ask one writer what is her real opinion of a 
cotemporary author. She may be unwilling to entrust 
it to you, as she can have no guarantee that you will 
not whisper it round till it gets into print. If she 
voluntarily expresses her own opinion of another 
writer, and it is unfavourable, be honourable enough 
not to repeat it; but guard it sedulously from be- 
trayal, and avoid mentioning it to any one. 

When in company with literary women, make no 
allusions to "learned ladies," or "blue stockings," or 
express surprise that they should have any knowledge 
of housewifery, or needle-work, or dress ; or that they 
are able to talk on "common things." It is rude and 
foolish, and shows that you really know nothing about 
them, either as a class or as individuals. 


Never tell an authoress that "you are afraid of 
her" — or entreat her " not to put you into a book." 
Be assured there is no danger. 

An authoress has seldom leisure to entertain morn- 
ing visiters ; so much of her time being professionally 
occupied either in writing, or in reading what will 
prepare her for writing. She should apprize all her 
friends of the hours in which she is usually engaged ; 
and then none who are really her friends and well- 
wishers, will encroach upon her convenience for any 
purpose of their own ; unless under extraordinary 
circumstances. To tell her that you were "just pass- 
ing by," or "just in the neighbourhood," and "just 
thought you would stop in," is a very selfish, or at 
least a very inconsiderate excuse. Is she to suppose 
that you do not consider her conversation worthy of a 
visit made on purpose ? 

Recollect that to a woman who gets her living by 
her pen, "time is money," as it is to an artist. 
Therefore, encroaching on her time is lessening her 
income. And yet how often is this done (either 
heedlessly or selfishly) by persons professing to be 
her friends, and who are habitually in the practice of 
interrupting her in her writing hours, which should 
always be in the morning, if possible. They think 
it sufficient to say, like Paul Pry, " I hope I don't 
intrude" — knowing all the time that they do, and pre- 
tending to believe her when civility obliges her to tell 
them they do not. Even if the visit is not a long one, 
it is still an interruption. In one minute it may break 
a chain of ideas which cannot be reunited, dispel 


thoughts that can never be recalled, disturb the con 
struction of a sentence, and obliterate a recollection 
that will not return. And to all this the literary lady 
must submit, because her so-called friend "chanced to 
be out that morning shopping" — or "happened to be 
visiting in that part of the town" — and therefore has 
called on her by way of "killing two birds with one 
stone." Yery likely, the visiter will say to the unfor- 
tunate visited, " I know it is inconvenient to you to see 
your friends in the morning, but I never feel like going 
out in the afternoon. As soon as dinner is over I must 
have my nap ; and by the time that is finished, it is too 
late for any thing else." 

In consequence of these ill-timed visits, the printer 
may have to send in vain for " copy" that is not yet 
ready ; and an article written expressly for a maga- 
zine may arrive too late for the next month, and be 
therefore deferred a month later, which may subject 
her not only to inconvenience, but to actual pecuniary 
loss — loss of money. Or, at least, the interruption 
may compel her to the painful effort of trying to 
finish it even by sitting up late at night, and straining 
her weary eyes by lamp-light. Yet this she must 
endure because it suits an idle and thoughtless friend 
to make her a long and inopportune visit. The chil- 
dren of the pen and the pencil might say to these 
intruders, like the frogs in the pond when the boys 
were pelting them with stones — " This may be sport 
to you, but it is death to us." 

If, when admitted into her study, you should find 
her writing-table in what appears to you like great 


confusion, recollect that there is really no wit in a 
remark too common on such occasions, — " Why, you 
look quite littery" — a poor, play on the words lit> 
and litter. In all probability, she knows precisely 
where to lay her hand upon every paper on the table : 
having in reality placed them exactly to suit her con- 
venience. Though their arrangement may be quite 
unintelligible to the uninitiated, there is no doubt 
method (her own method, at least) in their apparent 
disorder. It is not likely she may have time to put 
her, writing table in nice-looking order every day. To 
h&ve it done by servants is out of the question, as tliey 
would make " confusion worse confounded;" being of 
course unable to comprehend how such a table should 
be arranged. 

If you chance to find an authoress occupied with 
her needle, express no astonishment, and refrain from 
exclaiming, "What! can you sew?" or, "I never 
supposed a literary lady could even hem a hand- 

This is a false, and if expressed in words, an insulting 
idea. A large number of literary females are excel- 
lent needle-women, and good housewives ; and there 
is no reason why they should not be. The same 
vigour of character and activity of intellect which 
renders a woman a good writer, will also. enable her to 
acquire with a quickness, almost intuitive, a competent 
knowledge of household affairs, and of the art of needle- 
work. And she will find, upon making the attempt, 
that, with a little time and a little perseverance, she 
may become as notable a personage (both in theory 


and practice) as if she had never read a hook, or 
written a page. 

The Dora of David Copperfield is an admirable 
illustration of the fact that a silly, illiterate woman 
may he the worst of housewives. Dickens has un- 
questionably painted this character exactly from life. 
But that he always does. He must have known a 
Dora. And who has not ? 

If you find your literary friend in deshabille, and 
she apologizes for it — (she had best not apologize) — tell 
her not that " authoresses are privileged persons, ant 
are never expected to p*ay any attention to dress." 
Now, literary slatterns are not more frequent than 
slatterns who are not literary. It is true that women 
of enlarged minds, and really good taste, do not think 
it necessary to follow closely all the • changes and 
follies of fashion, and to wear things that are incon- 
venient, uncomfortable, and unbecoming, merely be- 
cause milliners, dress-makers, &c. have pronounced 
them " the last new style." 

It is ill-manners to refer in any way to the profes- 
sion of the person to whom you are talking, unless 
that person is an intimate friend, and you are alone 
with her ; and unless she herself begins the subject. 
Still worse, to allude to their profession as if you sup- 
posed it rendered them different from the rest of the 
world, and marked them with peculiarities from which 
other people are exempt. 

It is true that authorlings and poetizers are apt to 
affect eccentricity. Real authors, and even real poets, 
(by real we mean good ones,) have generally a large 

264 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

portion of common sense to balance their genius, and 
are therefore seldom guilty of the queerncsses unjustly 
imputed to the whole fraternity. 

"When in company with a literary lady with whom 
you are not on very confidential terms, it is bad taste 
to talk to her exclusively of books, and to endeavour 
to draw out her opinion of authors with whom she is 
personally acquainted — and whom she will, of course, 
be unwilling to criticise, (at least in miscellaneous 
society,) lest her remarks should be invidiously or im- 
prudently repeated, and even get into print. "Any 
thing new in the literary world ?" is a question by 
which some people always commence conversation 
with an author. Why should it be supposed that they 
always "carry the shop along with them," or that they 
take no interest or pleasure in things not connected 
with books. On the contrary, they are glad to be 
allowed the privilege of unbending like other people. 
And a good writer is almost always a good talker, 
and fully capable of conversing well on various sub- 
jects. Try her. 

It was beautifully said of Jane Taylor, the charm- 
ing author of a popular and never-tiring little book of 
"Original Poems for Children," that "you only knew 
that the stream of literature had passed over her mind 
by the fertility it left behind it." 

We have witnessed, when two distinguished lady- 
writers chanced to be at the same party, an unman- 
nerly disposition to "pit them against each other" — 
placing them side by side, or vis-a-vis, and saying 
something about, "When Greek meets Greek," &c, 


and absolutely collecting a circle round them, to be 
amused or edified by the expected dialogue. This is 
rude and foolish. 

It is not treating a talented woman with due con- 
sideration, to be active in introducing to her the 
silliest and flattest people in the room, because the 
said flats have been worked up into a desire of seeing, 
face to face, " a live authoress" — though in all proba- 
bility they have not read one of her works. 

That notorious lion-hunter, the Countess of Cork, was 
so candid as to say to certain celebrated writers, " I'll 
sit by you because you are famous." To a very charm- 
ing American lady whom she was persuading to come to 
her party, she frankly added, " My dear, you really 
must not refuse me. Don't you know you are my 

There are mothers (called pattern-mothers) who 
uphold the theory that every thing in the world must 
bend to the advantage (real or supposed) of children, 
that is, of their own children — and who have continu- 
ally on their lips the saying, " a mother's first duty is 
to her children." So it is, and it is her duty not to 
render them vain, impertinent, conceited,' and obtru- 
sive, by allowing them to suppose that they must on 
all occasions be brought forward; and that their 
mother's visiters have nothing to do but to improve 
and amuse them. Therefore a literary lady often re- 
ceives a more than hint from such a mother to talk 
only on edifying subjects when the dear little crea- 
tures are present ; and then the conversation is re- 
quired to take a Penny-Magazine tone, exclusively — 

268 miss Leslie's behavioui 

the darlings being, most probably, restless and impa- 
tient all the time, the girls sitting uneasily on 
chairs and looking tired, and the boys suddenly bolt- 
ing out of the room to get back to their sports. It is 
true the children will be less impatient if the visiter 
will t ^uble herself to "tell them stories" all the time; 
but u is rude to ask her to do so. 

When directing a letter to "a woman of letters," it 
is not considered polite to insert the word "Authoress" 
after her name. And yet we have seen this done by 
persons who ought to know better. If you are unac- 
quainted with the number and street of her residence, 
direct to the care of her publisher; whose place you 
may always find, by referring to the title-page of one 
of her last works, and by seeing his advertisements in 
the newspapers. The booksellers always know where 
their authors are to be found. So do the printers — 
for their boys convey the proof-sheets. 

Observe that the term "learned lady" is not cor- 
rectly applied to a female, unless she has successfully 
cultivated what is understood to be the learning of 
colleges — for instance, the dead languages, &c. Un- 
fortunately, the term is now seldom used but in deri- 
sion, and to denote a woman whose studies have been 
entirely of the masculine order. You may speak of a 
well-informed, well-read, talented, intellectual, accom- 
plished lady; but call her not learned, unless she is 
well-versed in the Greek and Latin classics, and able 
to discuss them from their original lancrua^e. Even 
then, spare her the appellation of learned, if gentle- 
men are present. In the dark ages, when not every 


iady could read and write, the few that were entitled 
to the "benefit of clergy," frequently " drank deep in 
tasting the Pierian spring," and proceeded to study 
the learned languages with great success ; for instance, 
Lady Jane Grey and Queen Elizabeth. 

In desiring the autograph of a literary lady, do not 
expect her to write in your album " a piece of poetry." 
Be satisfied with her signature only. There is a spice 
of meanness in requesting from her, as a gift, any 
portion of her stock in trade. As well might you ask 
Mr. Stewart, or Mr. Levy, to present you with an 
embroidered collar, or a pair of gloves. For the same 
reason, never request an artist to "draw something" 
in your album. It is only amateur poets, and ama- 
teur artists, that can afford to write and draw in 
albums. Those who make a living by their pro- 
fession, have no time to spare for gratuitous perform- 
ances; and it is as wrong to ask them, as it is to 
invite public singers to " favour the company with a 
song" at private parties, where they are invited as 
guests. It is, however, not unusual for professional 
musicians to kindly and politely gratify the company 
by inviting themselves to sing; saying, "Perhaps you 
would like to hear my last song." And sometimes, if 
quite "in the vein," a real poet, when modestly asked 
for merely his signature, will voluntarily add a few 
lines of verse. But do not expect it. 

There are pretty little books of fine paper, hand- 
somely bound, that are used for the purpose of con- 
taining signature autographs; one on each page. A 
lady owning such a book, can send it to any distin- 

2G8 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

guished person of whose hand-writing she wishes to 
possess a specimen. 

When the name at the bottom of a letter is shown 
to you as an autograph, it is rude to take the letter 
into your own hand, and read the whole, or even to 
glance your eye over it. It is not intended that you 
shall see any thing hut the signature. 

We will now address a few words to beginners in 
the art of writing, with reference to their intercourse 
with women of well-established literary reputation 
If these ladies of decided standing in the republic of 
letters have sufficient leisure, they will generally be 
very kind in assisting with their counsel a young aspi- 
rant, who shows any evidence of talent for the pro- 
fession. Unluckily, too many novices in the art, 
mistake a mere desire to get into print, for that rarest 
of gifts — genius. And without genius, there is no 
possibility of gaining by the pen, either fame, or 

Long manuscripts are frequently sent for the revisal 
"at leisure" of a person who has little or no leisure. 
Yet in the intervals of toiling for herself, she is 
expected to toil for some one else; probably for a 
stranger whom she does not know, in whom she can 
take no interest, and who has evidently "no writing 
in her soul." If, however, the modest request is 
kindly complied with, in all probability the corrections 
will only give offence, and may perhaps be crossed out 
before the manuscript is offered to the publisher, who 
very likely may reject it for want of these very cor- 
rections. We have known such incidents. 

Conduct to literary women 269 

The least talented of the numerous females pre- 
tending to authorship, are generally the most con- 
ceited and the most obtrusive. They are frequently 
very great annoyances to women "well-up the ladder," 
who are expected, in many instances, not only to re- 
vise the manuscript, but immediately to find a pur- 
chaser for it — a purchaser of high rank among 
publishers — one who will bring it out handsomely, 
ensure it an immense circulation, pay promptly, 
and pay as much as is given to the standard 
authors. And besides being desired to "get it pub- 
lished," the reviser of the manuscript will, perhaps, 
be requested to correct the proofs; that is, if the 
literary novice should chance to know what proof- 
sheets are. 

The work thus arrogantly thrust upon the time 
and attention of a deservedly-popular writer may be 
a book of "sweet poetry," on weak, worn-out, com- 
mon-place subjects, done into feeble, halting, ill- 
rhyming verses, such as few read, and none re- 
member. Or the aspirant after fame, may have 
chosen the easier path of prose, and produced a 
fiction without fancy, a novel without novelty, "a 
thrilling tale" that thrills nobody, a picture of fashion- 
able life after no fashion that ever existed, or u a 
pathetic story of domestic life," neither pathetic nor 

Yet if a practised and successful author ventures to 
pronounce an unfavourable verdict on such produc- 
tions, because the writer desired her candid opinion, 
she will probably light up a flame of resentment, that 


may never be extinguished, and make an enemy for 
life; the objections being imputed to "sheer envj, ' 
and to a malignant design of " extinguishing a rising 

A sufficient introduction to a publisher is to send 
him the manuscript, accompanied by a note request- 
ing his opinion as soon as convenient. If he ap- 
proves it, and believes it will be profitable, there is no 
doubt of his being willing to print the work. And if 
he thinks he shall make nothing by it, it is equally 
certain that he will decline the offer. It is too much 
to expect that he will be so regardless of his own 
interest as to publish a book, the sale of which will 
not remunerate him for the cost of paper and 

Ladies who live in the same house with an authoress, 
nave opportunities enough of seeing her in the parlour, 
and at table ; therefore they may dispense with visit- 
ing her in her own room. Spare her all interruptions 1 
of applying for the loan of books, paper, pens, ink, &c 
Do not expect that, because she writes, she must neces- 
sarily keep a free circulating library, or a gratuitous 
stationer's shop. Supply yourself with all such con- 
veniences from the regular sources. Buy them, and 
pay for them, instead of troubling one who has not 
time to be troubled. Above all, refrain from the 
meanness of asking her to lend you any book written 
by herself. If she volunteers the loan, then receive 
it thankfully ; and take care to return it speedily, and 
in good condition. It is her interest, and the interest 
of her publishers, that a large number of copies shal' 


be sold; not lent, or given away. Many persons er- 
roneously suppose that an author has always on hand 
an unlimited number of her own books ; or that the 
publisher will kindly give her as many as she can 
want for herself and friends. This is by no means 
the case. It is usual, when the first edition comes out, 
for the publisher to send the author half a dozen 
copies of the book, or a dozen, if it is a small one. 
After that, if she wants any more, she is expected to 
to buy them of the bookseller. Therefore, she has 
none to give away, except to members of her own 
family, or to friends whose circumstances will not 
permit them to expend money in books, and who 
have an ardent love for reading without the means 
of gratifying it. We have known ladies, possessing 
diamonds and India shawls, and living in splendid 
houses, ask the author for the loan of a cookery-book, 
with the avowed purpose of " copying out the best 

Apropos to cookery-books : — If you have faithfully 
followed a receipt, and the result is not quite satisfac- 
tory, there is nothing amiss in your acquainting the 
writer with that fact, provided it is a fact. On the 
contrary, you may do her a kindness, by enabling her 
to detect an error in the directions, and to rectify that 
error in a future edition. 

Women often assert that the receipt was not a good 
one, and that upon trial it proved a failure, when, on 
investigation, you will find that, from false economy, 
some of the ingredients were left out ; or the relative 
proportions diminished in quantity — too much of the 


cheapest articles being put in, and not enough of the 
more costly. Or else, that sufficient time and pains 
were not bestowed on the mixing and preparing ; or 
that the thing was not sufficiently cooked. 

By-the-bye, remember that a receipt for cookery, is 
not to be called a recipe. The word recipe belongs 
to pharmacy, and is only used with reference to medi- 
cal prescriptions. The cook uses receipts, the apothe- 
cary recipes. 

Whatever article you may wish to borrow from an 
inmate of the same house, apply first to persons 
whose time is of comparatively small importance to 
them, before you disturb and interrupt a literary lady. 
Do not trouble her for the loan of umbrellas, over- 
shoes, hoods, calashes, &c, or send to her for small 

We once lived in a house where coal-fires were 
scarce, and wood-fires plenty. Our own fire-arrange- 
ment was wood in a Franklin stove, and no other per- 
son in the house was the fortunate owner of a pair of 
bellows. Liking always to be comfortable, we had 
bought a pair for ourselves. 

Ten times a day we were disturbed by a knock at 
the door, from a coloured girl who came " a-borr owing ' 
this implement to revive the fire of some other room. 
She called it by a pleasing variety of names — running 
through all the vowels. Sometimes she wanted the 
bellowsas; sometimes the bellowses; or the bellowsis, 
the bellowsos, or the bellowsi^ s. These frequent inter- 
ruptions, with others that were similar, became a real 
grievance. We thought* it would cost us less to pre- 


Bent the bellows to the house, and buy another pair 
for ourselves. We did so — but very soon the first 
pair was somehow missing, and our own was again in 

Since that winter we have burnt anthracite, and 
therefore have no bellowsa* to lend. 

!74 Leslie's behaviour book. 



There is some economy and much convenience in 
buying your paper by the ream, (twenty quires,) having 
first tried a sample. The surface of the paper should 
be smooth, and somewhat glossy ; particularly if you 
write with metallic pens. That which is soft and 
spongy, though a little lower in price, wears out the 
pen so fast that what is saved in paper is lost in pens ; 
also, there is no possibility of writing on it with ease 
and expedition. You will find it best to use paper 
ruled in lines. If you write a large hand, take fools- 
cap ; if a small hand, use letter-paper size. But note- 
paper is too small, when you are writing for the press. 

Before you commence your manuscript, take a 
quire, and prepare each sheet by splitting it all down 
the folded side, with a sharp paper-cutter, thus divid- 
ing it into half-sheets. You can do this better on a 
flat table than on the slope of a desk. Keep your 
left hand pressing down hard on the quire, while you 
are cutting it with your right. 

The best paper-cutters are those of real ivory. A 
handle is of no advantage to them, but rather the con- 
trarv. They should be thin, plain, and perfectly 


straight, except being rounded off at the two ends. 
Ivory paper-knives of this form are generally used by 
the book-binders, an evidence that they are convenient 
and expeditious. Those of bone or horn are scarcely 
worth buying, though but half the price ; the edges 
soon becoming blunt, and therefore useless. Wooden 
paper-knives are good for nothing. Paper-knives of 
mother of pearl, and other ornamental substances, are 
of little utility, being rarely sharp enough, (even when 
new,) and in a short time becoming quite dull. Also, 
they break very easily. Avoid cutting a sheet of 
paper, or the leaves of a book, with scissors ; it is com- 
paratively a slow and awkward process ; and cannot, 
even with great care, be effected as smoothly and 
evenly as with a cutter of ivory. 

Before you split or divide the sheet, press the 
paper-knife all along the fold, so as to flatten the 
crease, and make it cut evenly and easily. Having 
split your whole sheets into leaves or half-sheets, take 
each half-sheet separately, and fold over an inch or 
more all along the left-hand edge ; - so as to leave 
a margin or space for sewing the manuscript when 
finished. Do this with the paper-knife. Lay a pile of 
these half-sheets beside you when you sit down to 
write, and take them as you want them. 

Write only on one side of the paper. If written on 
both sides, it will cause trouble and inconvenience to 
the printers, by obliging them to turn over at the end 
of every page. This rule, however, may be dis- 
pensed with, when a manuscript is so short that it 
may be comprised in one sheet, and is to be trans- 

miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

raitted by mail. This may be the more easily ma- 
naged, by drawing with a pencil or pen a straight per- 
pendicular line down the middle of each page, so as to 
divide it into columns. When it is finished, enclose it 
in an envelope, direct, and seal it, and put on a post- 
office stamp. If the manuscript occupies two or three 
sheets, put two or three stamps side by side. There 
are large envelopes that will hold foolscap paper, pro- 
perly folded. 

Do not use blue ink ; for if any part of your manu- 
script should chance to get wet, there is a risk of the 
blue ink being effaced or obliterated by the damp, so 
as to render the writing illegible ; and this has fre- 
quently happened. 

Let your writing be large enough, and plain enough 
to be read with ease, and the compositor will be less 
likely to make mistakes. Printers, though accus- 
tomed to read all sorts of writing, are sometimes com- 
pletely at a loss in deciphering a very bad hand. 
There is no excuse for a person in respectable life 
persisting in writing illegibly, as it is never too late 
to improve. You have only to take lessons of a good 
instructor, and apply yourself sedulously to acquiring 
a new hand, and you will succeed in doing so. 

Do not, in writing for the press, affect the crow- 
quill calligraphy that is fashionable for album verses 
and complimentary billets. When your manuscript 
is finished, sew the leaves evenly together, with nothing 
more than a strong thread ; or, if it is very thick, it 
may be sewed with a fine twine put into a large 
needle. A handsome cover, daintily fastened with a 


pretty ribbon, is of no account in a printing-office, 
where the first thing that is done with a manuscript 
is to remove the cover, and cut the leaves loose from 
the fastening. The printers will gladly dispense with 
covers, ribbons, and fairy-like penmanship, in favour 
of a plain legible hand, pages regularly numbered, 
and leaves written on one side only. 

In commencing a manuscript, write the title or 
caption in large letters, at some distance from the top 
of the first page ; and if you are not anonymous, put 
your name a little below the title. Then begin the 
first line of the first paragraph, several inches distant 
from the left-hand side, or margin. In this manner 
commence every paragraph. The length of the para- 
graphs may be regulated by the time when you think 
a pause longer than that of a period or full stop may 
be effective ; or to give the reader an opportunity of 
resting for a minute ; or to denote the commencement 
of another subject. 

In writing a dialogue, begin every separate speech 
with a capital, and commence each speech on a new 
line, and at some distance from the left-hand margin. 
Also mark the beginning and end of every speech 
with double commas. If the names of the speakers 
are given at the commencement of every speech, write 
those names in large letters, putting a dot and a dash 
after them. All these arrangements are the same in 
writing as in printing. 

If you are, unfortunately, not familiar with the 
rules of punctuation, refresh your memory by refer- 
ring to them in a grammar-book. They must be 


strictly observed; otherwise your meaning will be un- 
intelligible. Always remember that every period or 
full stop, and every note of interrogation, or of admi- 
ration, must be followed by a capital letter, beginning 
the next word. Dashes, particularly in a dialogue, 
add much to the effect, if not used too lavishly. 

Errors of orthography are rarely committed by any 
one "who presumes to write for the press. It is 
scarcely possible for a person who reads much to spell 
incorrectly, as the appearance of the printed word3 
becomes insensibly and indelibly fixed in the mind. 
Still it may be well to write with a dictionary on your 
table, in case you should have any doubt as to the 
proper spelling and meaning of a word with which 
you may not be very familiar. 

Keep also a grammar on your table. Grammatical 
errors are annoying to the reader, and disgraceful to 
the writer, unless it is well known that she has not 
had the advantage of an education, even at a common 
school. Then she is to be pitied. But it is never too 
late to study grammar, and she had best do so before 
she ventures to write for the public. If she writes 
ungrammatically, how must she talk ! In a work of 
fiction it is shocking to have lords and ladies, or the 
noble and dignified hero, and the elegant and refined 
heroine, conversing in "bad grammar," because the 
author knew no better. Yet such books we have 
seen. There are, luckily, not many of them. But 
there should be none. 

Every morning, previous to commencing your task, 
revise carefully all that you have written on the pre- 


ceeding day, and correct and alter whatever you may 
deem susceptible of improvement. Some authors re- 
vise every page as soon as they have written it. But, 
unless you are much pressed for time, it is best to do 
this next morning, when your perceptions are fresh 
and clear. In crossing or blotting out, do it effec- 
tually, so that the original words may not appear 
through, and remain still legible. If you find that 
you have omitted a word, or if you wish to change 
one word for another, interline it ; inserting the new 
word just above the line to which it belongs, and 
placing this mark /\ below. Lay aside each page as 
you finish it. Be particular in numbering every 
page; and it is best to do this before you begin, 
placing the number near the top of the right-hand 
corner. Let not your lines be too close, or there will 
not be space enough for legible interlining. 
. If the publisher lives in your own town, it will be 
sufficient to roll up the manuscript in clean white 
paper, twisted at each end, and wafered in the middle. 
But however short the distance, write on the outside 
of the paper the full direction of the publishing office ; 
that, in case of its being dropped in the street, any 
person finding it may know exactly where to take it. 

In putting up a large manuscript, in a packet for 
transmission to a distant place, use strong nankeen 
paper for the cover, and secure it with wafers, or 
paste, if it is to go a voyage in a steamer, as a wax 
seal may be melted by the heat of the fire. If it will 
reach its destination in a few hours, you may seal it 
with wax, having tied red tape" about. Dp not use 


twine, as that may cut the paper. Newspapers are 
generally put up in a brownish paper cover, pasted at 
the side and bottom, with one end left open. 

Postage is now so cheap, that manuscripts had best 
always be transmitted by mail; putting a sufficient 
number of stamps on the outside, all close to each 

Few women can write well enough for publication, 
without going twice over the subject; first in what is 
called the rough copy, and then making a fair copy 
with all the original errors corrected, and all proper 
alterations inserted. If you have time, make two fair 
copies; one for the printer, and one to keep for your- 
self, in case the other should be accidentally destroyed 
or lost — retaining it till after the work is actually in 
print. Much postage is wasted, and much annoyance 
is given to the editors of periodicals, by applications 
for the restoration of unpublished verses, and other 
"Rejected Addresses," consisting, perhaps, of a sheet 
of poetry, or a few pages of prose, of which it would 
have been very easy to have made another copy for 
the author's keeping. 

In writing articles for Annuals, let it be remem- 
bered that the printing of these books is always com- 
pleted some months before they are published or an- 
nounced for sale. Therefore, all contributions should 
be sent to the publisher before February, or March at 
farthest. For a magazine, they should be transmitted 
at least two months in advance. For a weekly paper, 
two weeks ahead. 

Those who write for periodicals should remember 


that it is the custom to address all letters on com- 
pensations, copies of work, &c. to the publisher; and 
not to the editor, who seldom has any concern in the 
pecuniary affairs, his business being solely to receive, 
and read the manuscripts, to accept or reject them, 
and to arrange them for the press. It is not usual 
for the compensation to be paid till after the book is 
published. Some publishers send to every contributor 
one copy of the work. Others do not present a copy 
when the article is very short — for instance, a few 
stanzas of verse. Prose obtains a higher price than 
poetry, of which there is always a superabundance in 
the market. Much poetry is published without any 
pay at all; the writers being contented with seeing 
their effusions in print. No good author has any 
occasion to write gratuitously. A "merely passable" 
or "just tolerable" writer of poetry or fiction, should 
give up the inventive line, and try something else — 
something for which genius is not indispensable; and 
from which, by patience and industry, a sort of living 
may be wrought out. 

In composing poetry, a common, but unpardonable 
fault is that of introducing a lame or halting line — a 
line with one syllable too many, or too few. And if 
the author does not understand that it is an intolerable 
blemish, and sends it uncorrected to the press, she is 
unworthy of being called a poetess. We are inclined 
to believe that no person devoid of an ear for music, can 
write poetry deserving of the name. The ideas may be 
good, but the lines will have no melody, andwill move 
harshly and ruggedly, very much like rough prose, 

282 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

Some writers seem to think that blank vcrsu is 
nothing but prose with a capital at the beginning of 
each line; never having learnt or remembered that 
though the lines do not rhyme, they must all comprise 
ten syllables, (syllables, not words,) otherwise the effect 
when read, will, to even a tolerable ear, be absolutely 
painful. "We saw a play, (the first attempt of a since 
distinguished dramatist,) the dialogue of which was 
unintelligible to the audience, and nearly impracti- 
cable to the actors, who found it absolutely beyond 
their skill to enunciate; or rather beneath it. We 
afterward heard the manager of the Chestnut-street 
Theatre explain, that the difficulty, both with the 
speakers and the hearers, was the execrable blank 
verse in which the play was written; some of the 
lines containing but seven or eight syllables, (instead 
of ten,) and some twelve or fourteen. A very few 
English authors write irregular blank verse ; but we 
are sorry to say that a great many Americans do not 
seem to understand the process, simple as it is, of 
confining themselves to ten syllables only, — neither 
more nor less. Can they have read Shakspeare ? 

There is no blank verse in French poetry. That 
language seems incapable of it. 

If you are writing for a periodical, and are desirous 
of ascertaining before-hand how many pages youi 
manuscript will make when printed, take, at random, 
any printed page of the work, and copy it in your 
usual hand, and on a sheet of the same paper you 
intend using throughout. You will thus, by com- 
parison, be able to judge with tolerable accuracy, 


how much of your writing will make a page when 

Keep a memorandum-book for the express purpose 
of setting down whatever relates to your literary 
affairs. Insert the day when you commenced a manu- 
script, the day when you finished it, and the day on 
which it went to the publisher. Also, the whole num- 
ber of its pages. When you see it in print, put down 
the number of its printed pages. In this book, set 
down, immediately on receiving them, whatever sums 
are paid to you for your writings. 

If you are a writer of fiction, have a large book for 
memorandums, of any amusing or remarkable things 
you may chance to hear, and which you may turn to 
account afterward. If you write truth only, keep a 
book for the reception of useful or interesting facts. 
A written book of names, alphabetically arranged, 
(surnames and christian names,) will be of great ad- 
vantage in selecting appellations for your characters. 
Do not give elegant names to your common people ; 
or to your patrician characters names that are coarse 
and vulgar. A fault in Dickens is that nearly all his 
names are rugged, uncouth, and ill-sounding, and sel- 
dom characteristic. Why should a very excellent and 
generous brother and sister be called Tom Pinch and 
Ruth Pinch. What did they pinch ? 

There is a proof-reader in every printing-office, but 
after he has done, the proofs are generally sent to the 
author for farther revisal. 

In correcting proof-sheets, first see that they are 
quite dry. Draw your pen through any word you 

284 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

desire to change, and then write the new word on the 
margin, placing it even with the line of the rejected 
word. When you alter the punctuation, converting a 
comma into a semicolon, or a period into a note of 
admiration, make a slight mark on the margin of that 
line, that the printer may not overlook it. If you 
have occasion to change a whole sentence, cross it 
out, and put the new sentence on the margin at the 
bottom of the page. 

If the printer's boy can wait, you had best correct 
the proofs while he stays. 




Miss Edgworth says that the education of a child 
begins at three months old. It is true that both bad 
and good habits may seem to commence at this early 
age ; but we do not believe that in so slight a soil they 
take a very deep root, or that what is called a cross 
baby is sure to grow up an ill-tempered adult. Infants, 
when they are not really sick, frequently cry from some 
incidental annoyance, and not from a fretful disposition. 
If they feel comfortably they will usually be good-hu- 
moured and pleasant. Much of their comfort is sacri- 
ficed to the vanity of the mother in dressing them 
fashionably and expensively. We knew a baby that 
was very good in the morning, but very cross in the 
afternoon, or when dressed for show. And no 
wonder, for in her show-costume she was tortured with 
necklace, sleeve-loops, and bracelets of fine branchy, or 
rather briary coral, scratching and irritating her deli- 
cate skin, and leaving the print in red marks. On 
our representing this to the mother as the probable 
cause of the baby's fretfulness, the thorny ornaments 
were left off, and the child became amiable. Gold 
chains are also very irritating to the neck and arms 
of an infant. Coral beads of a smooth round form, 


strung evenly on a simple thread of silk, without any 
intermingling of gold chain, are, perhaps, the moat 

comfortable necklaces for children, and are also very 
becoming ; but as they are not expensive, they are of 
course not fashionable. 

Fortunately, the days of worked caps are over. 
Young ladies are no longer expected to cover pieces 
of cambric with elaborate cotton embroidery fur the 
babies of their married friends, and the tender heads 
of the babies are no longer chafed with rough needle- 
work rubbing incessantly upon them, or heated with a 
silk lining to the cambric already thickened all over 
with close, heavy patterns. We wish also that 
mothers, generally, were less proud of seeing their 
babies with "luxuriant heads of hair," which if it has 
no natural tendency to curl, disfigures the child and 
gives it a wild, ungenteel look. If it does curl, it still 
heats the head and neck, and is said to draw away 
muclr strength, from the system. The most healthy 
infants we have seen, had very little hair, or it was 
judiciously kept closely cut. To curl children's hair 
in papers is barbarous. They pay dearly for the 
glory of appearing in ringlets during the day, if they 
are made to pass their nights lying upon a mass of 
hard, rough bobs, about as pleasant as if they had 
their heads in a bag of hickory-nuts. But then the 
mother has the gratification of hearing their curls 
admired ! 

Among other sufferings inflicted on babies is that of 
sending them out in bleak winter days with brimlesa 
hats, that, so far from screening their faces from the 


cold wind, do not even afford the slightest shade to 
their eyes, which are winking and watering all the 
time from the glare of the sun and snow. We have 
seen false curls pinned to these babies' hats, and dan- 
gling in their eyes. 

Another detestable practice is that of making the 
waists of children's frocks ridiculously long and pain- 
fully tight; particularly over the chest and body, 
which are thus pressed flat, to the utter ruin of thf* 
figure, and the risk of producing incurable diseases — 
such as consumption of the lungs, and projection of the 
spine ; to say nothing of the various complaints con- 
nected with the stomach, which is thus squeezed into 
half its natural compass. Also, the sleeve-holes are 
.so small and tight as to push up the shoulders. Then 
the hips are pressed downward far below their proper 
place, and the legs are consequently in danger of 
becoming short and bandy. Is it possible this vile 
fashion can continue much longer ! — and are " the 
rising generation" really to grow up with high 
shoulders, round backs, flat chests, bodies that seem 
longer than their legs, and hips almost where their 
knees ought to be. 

Also, these limbs must suffer from cold in winter 
with no other covering than cotton stockings, the, 
skirts of the dress scarcely reaching to the knees — the 
little boys disfigured with the ugliest of all garments, 
short knee-breeches. 

Add to all the rest of these abominations, tight 
bnots with peaked toes, and can we wonder that chil- 
dren, even beyond the period of infancy, should, at 


times, be cross, irritable, and unamiable. How can 
they be otherwise, when they seldom feel comfortably ? 
Then, if the parents can afford it, (or whether or not,) 
the unhappy children are bedizened with all manner 
of expensive finery, and interdicted from romping, 
lest they should injure it. But, what matter if the 
children suffer — the mother's vanity must be gratified, 
and she must have the delight of seeing that her boys 
and girls are as fashionably dressed as the little 
Thomsons and "Wilsons and Jacksons. 

We look back with regret to the days when little 
girls, as well ? s boys, wore their hair closely cropped ; 
convenient and cool, and showing to advantage the 
^form of the head, till they were twelve or thirteen — 
and they wore only washable dresses, descending far 
below the knees, and with pantalets down to their 
ancles. In summer their frocks, had short wide sleeves, 
and were not close up to the throat. The bodies were of 
a natural length, the outside gathered full upon a 
moderately tight lining. If there is no lining to a 
full frock-body it will puff out at the back and front, 
and give the waist a look of deformity before and 
behind. Then the little girls went out in close 
cottage-bonnets of straw in summer, and beaver in 
winter — shading and screening their faces — and were 
kept warm when out of doors with long wide cloaks or 
coats of cloth or merino, instead of the fantastic short 
things now worn, with open sleeves and open fronts. 
Then, when at home, how innocent and childlike they 
looked in their long-sleeved convenient bib-aprons ! — so 
much better than the short silk ones now worn, 


trimmed and bordered and ribboned, and rendered so 
fine that the children are expected to be as careful 
of injuring their showy aprons as of soiling their 
showy frocks. 

Formerly, children learned to play various amusing 
games, suchNas " Hot buttered beans," "Blind-man's 
buff," &c. Now their play is chiefly running and 
squeeling, and chasing each other about, without any 
definite object, except that of making a noise. Then, 
at a juvenile party, the amusement was chiefly in the 
varieties of these entertaining games. Now it is 
dancing — for as many as can find places to dance — 
and nothing at all for those who cannot, but to grow 
tired and sleepy. In former times, children's parties 
commenced at two o'clock in the afternoon in winter, 
and at fOur in summer. They played till they were 
summoned to a large and well-supplied tea-table, and 
were sent for to come home by eight o'clock, being 
then quite tired enough to go to bed and sleep 
soundly, and waken with pleasant recollections of 
yesterday. If the party was very large, the elder 
children sat round the room, and tea, &c. was handed 
to them, while the little ones were accommodated at a 
table where the hostess presided. The children of 
that time really enjoyed these parties, and so would 
those of the present time, if they could have such. 
The juvenile-party dress was then but a simple white 
muslin frock with a ribbon sash. We have since seen 
little girls at a summer party stedfastly refuse straw- 
berries and cream, in obedience to the interdiction of 
their mothers; who had enjoined them to do so, lest 


uld stain or otherwise injure their el 
silk dresses. 

Fortunately, it is no longer fashionable for mothers 
to take their children with them on morning visits. 
On these occasions small children rarely behave well. 
They soon grow tired, and restless, and begin teazing 
to go somewhere else. Their presence is (or ought to 
be) a restraint on conversation, as much may be said 
during a visit that is not well for them to hear. They 
comprehend certain things far more easily than is 
supposed. Great mischief has ensued from allowing 
children to sit and listen; and there is no dependence 
on their discretion or secrecy. 

It is not well to put a small child u through its 
facings," by trying to make it exhibit any of its little 
feats before strangers. They are generally very 
reluctant to make this exhibition. Sometimes they 
are bashful, sometimes perverse; but if the mother 
persists in her attempt to show them off, it will 
probably prove a complete failure, and end in a cry, 
or that outbreak usually called a tantrum. By-the- 
bye, there is no better way of stopping a tantrum than 
quietly to divert the child's attention to something 

Beware of trusting an infant, too confidingly, to an 
European nurse ; and when she carries out the baby, it 
would be well if an older sister or the mother herself 
could go along. Instead of carrying it to one of the 
public squares, or to some other place where there is 
air and shade, she may take it into dirty alleys, on a 
visit to some of her own relations, perhaps newly 


arrived in an emigrant ship, with tie filth and diseases 
of a steerage passage still about them. This we know 
to have been done, and the child has in consequence 
taken a disgusting disease. Or, believing it a merito- 
rious act, an Irish nurse may secretly carry the infant 
to a priest, and have it baptized in the Catholic 
church, herself standing godmother. Of this there 
have been numerous instances. Young children fre- 
quently acquire, from being too much with ignorant 
and vulgar nurses, bad habits of talking that are 
exceedingly difficult to eradicate — so lasting are early 
impressions. We have heard an Irish brogue from 
infantine lips ; and the letter H sadly misused by the 
American nursling of a low Englishwoman. Above 
all, do not permit your own children to play with the 
children of their nurse. No good ever accrues from it. 
Children should not be brought to table till they 
are able to feed themselves, first with a spoon, and 
next with a fork. And not then, unless they can be 
depended on to keep quiet, and not talk. The chat- 
tering of children all dinner-time is a great annoyance 
to grown people. The shrill voice of a child can be 
distinguished annoyingly amid those of a whole com- 
pany. They should be made to understand that if 
they talk at table, they are to be immediately taken 
away to finish their dinner in the nursery. On no 
consideration should they be admitted to table when 
there is a dinner-party. The foolish custom of having 
all the children dressed for the purpose, and brought 
in with the dessert, is now obsolete. It never was 
very prevalent, except in England. 

292 miss Leslie's behaviouh book. 

We have seen children so well and so early trained 
that they could be trusted to come to table every day 
without the least fear of their misbehaving by talking 
or otherwise. They sat quietly, asked for nothing, 
took contentedly whatever was put on their plates, 
made no attempt at helping themselves, and neither 
greased nor slopped the table-cloth; and when done, 
wiped their mouths and hands on their napkins, before 
they quitted their chairs, which they did at a sign 
from their mother; going out without noise, and nei- 
ther leaving the door open nor slamming it hard. It 
is very easy to accustom children to these observances. 
Also, they may be taught very early, how to behave 
to visiters. For instance, not to pass between them 
and the fire, not to hang on the back of a lady's 
chair ; or to squeeze close to her ; or to get on her lap ; 
or to finger her dress; or to search her reticule, or her 
pocket ; or to ask a stranger for pennies or sixpences ; 
or to tell her that she is not pretty; or to enquire 
"why she wears such an ugly bonnet?" 

We have known a fine little boy, not three years 
old, who, on the entrance of a friend of his mother's, 
would haul up a chair for her, and invite her to a seat 
near the fire, place a footstool at her feet, ask her to 
let him take her bonnet, and invite her to stay to 
dinner, to stay all day, and to " stay for ever," adding, 
"I try to be polite." 

There are very little girls who, if their mother is 
from home, can do the honours in her place; seat the 
visiter on the sofa, and press her to stay till their 
mother comes in ; and if the lady declines doing so, 


they will ask her at least to stay awhile, and rest her- 
self, and have a glass of cool water; and while she 
stays, they will do their best to entertain her. Such 
children always grow up with polished manners, if 
not removed from the influence that made them so in 
early life. 

Children should be early taught not to repeat the 
conversation of grown persons, and never to tell the 
servants any thing they have heard in the parlour. 
When they come home from school, they ought 
not to be encouraged in telling school-tales. If they 
dine out, never question them concerning what they 
had for dinner. Forbid their relating any circum- 
stances concerning the domestic economy of the house 
at which they have been entertained. 

If a child purloins cakes or sweetmeats, punish 
him by giving him none the next time they are on 

At four years of age, a beginning should be made 
in teaching them to read, by hearing them the alpha- 
bet every day till they have learned it perfectly ; and 
afterwards the first spelling-tables. With a quarter 
<*f an hour's daily instruction, a child of common 
capacity will, in six months, be able to spell in two or 
three syllables, and to read short easy stories with 
the syllables divided. At the end of the year, if her 
lessons are regular, and not so long as to tire her, she 
will, in all probability, take pleasure in reading to 
herself, when her lessons are over. Were they 
taught out of story-boohs only, there are few children 
that at the age of six years would find any difficulty 

201 miss Leslie's bbhavioub took. 

in reading fluently. If very intelligent, they often 
can read well at five. When they can once read, 
encourage them in the love of hooks ; hut do not set 
them at any other branch of education till they are 
eight. Then, their hands being strong enough to 
guide the pen firmly, they may commence writing 
copies. They should be supplied with slates and 
pencils at three years old. If they have any dormant 
talent for drawing, this will call it out. Little girls 
may begin to sew at four or five, but only as an 
amusement, not as a task. The best and most satis- 
factory dolls for young children are those of linen or 
rag, made very substantially. Much money is wasted 
in toys that afford them no amusement whatever ; and 
toys that, being merely to look at, they grow tired of 
immediately, and delight in breaking to pieces. 

Never give an infant a book to play with. He will 
most assuredly tear it ; that being the only amusement 
it can afford him. It is possible at a very early age to 
teach a tractable female child such a respect for books 
that she will never attempt to injure them. When 
they are old enough to take pleasure in looking at the 
pictures, it is easy to accustom them to be always 
satisfied with the books being shown to them in the 
hands of grown persons. Do not buy those books 
that have absurd and revolting prints of people with 
gigantic heads and diminutive bodies. Children al- 
ways dislike them, and so they ought. 

Rejoice when a little girl shews a fondness for 
reading, and by all means encourage it. Keep her 
well supplied with good and entertaining books, and 


you will have little trouble with her. Do not need- 
lessly interrupt, and call her off — but let- her read in 
peace. It will do her more good than any thing else, 
and lay the foundation of an intelligent mind. A 
taste for reading, if not formed in early childhood, 
may perhaps never come at all. And then what a 
solace it is in bodily illness ! How patiently a read- 
ing child, whose mind is stored with "pleasant memo- 
ries," can bear pain, and submit to the confinement 
of a sick-bed. We have known more than one 
instance of the illness of a reading child taking a turn 
for the better, from the time she was indulged with an 
amusing and interesting book. 

There is no place in which children appear to 
greater disadvantage or are less ungovernable than at 
hotels or boarding-houses. We are always sorry when 
the circumstances of parents oblige them permanently 
to- live thus in public, with their young families, who 
are consequently brought up in a manner which 
cannot but have an unfavourable effect in forming the 
characters of the future men and women. By way of 
variety, and that they may not always be confined up- 
stairs, the children are encouraged, or at least per- 
mitted by their mothers, to spend much of their time in 
the drawing-room, regardless of the annoyance which 
their noise and romping never fails to inflict upon the 
legitimate occupants of that apartment. The parents, 
loving their children too much to be incommoded 
themselves by any thing that their offspring can say 
or do, seem not aware that they can possibly inter- 
rupt or trouble the rest of ths company. Or else, 

296 miss Leslie's behaviode book. 

conscious of their own inability to control them, they 
are afraid to check the children lest they should turn 
restive, rebel, or break out into a tantrum. "Any 
thing for the sake of peace," is a very foolish maxim 
where juveniles are concerned. By being firm once 
or twice, and dismissing them from the room when 
they deserve it, you may have peace ever after. The 
noisiest and most inconvenient time to have children 
m a public parlour is in the interval between their tea 
and their bed-time. Some children have no bed-time. 
And when they arc tired of scampering and shouting, 
they lie about sleeping on the sofas, and cry if they 
are finally wakened, to go up with their mother when 
she retires for the night. 

Still worse is the practice that prevails in some 
hotels and boarding-houses, of the mothers sending 
the nurse-maids with the babies, to sit in the drawing- 
room among the ladies ; who are thus liable to have a 
vulgar and obtrusive servant-girl, most probably 
"from the old country," boldly taking her seat in the 
midst of them, or conspicuously occupying one of the 
front-windows ; either keeping up a perpetual under- 
current of fulsome, foolish talk to the baby, or listening 
eagerly to the conversation around her, and, perhaps, 
repeating it invidiously as soon as she gets an oppor- 
tunity. If one lady sends her nurse-maid to sit in the 
drawing-room with the child, all the other mothers of 
babies immediately follow suit, and the drawing-room 
becomes a mere nursery. 

Every hotel should have a commodious and airy 
parlour set apart entirely for the children and nurses. 


The proprietors could easily afford to keep one good 
room for that purpose, if they would expend a little 
less on the finery of the parlours, &c. We have heard 
of an embroidered piano-cover, in a great hotel, costing 
fourteen hundred dollars, and the children pulling it 
down and dragging it about the floor. With a piano- 
cover of the usual cost, and other things less osten- 
tatious, a children's parlour might well have been 
afforded in this very establishment. 

At a hotel, if the children come to the ladies' table, 
they are always in danger of eating food that is 
highly improper for them, and they very soon learn 
to help themselves to much more than they want, and 
to eat voraciously, in their desire to " have something 
of every thing." There is always a table purposely 
for those children whose parents pay half-price for 
them ; and at which the housekeeper presides. How- 
ever good this table may be, and though the pies and 
puddings may be excellent, the mothers are frequently 
dissatisfied with the absence of ice-cream, blanc-mange, 
charlotte-russe, &c, though certainly, were they in 
houses of their own, they would not have such things 
every day. Therefore, though it is "not in the bond," 
the mothers carry away from the table saucers of 
these delicacies, and the children learn to expect a 
daily supply of them from the ladies' dining-room. 
This, we must say, is a mean practice. We have, 
however, known some mothers, who, really being 
"honourable women," sent every day to a confec- 
tioner's to buy ice-cream for their children. 

There is danger at a hotel Df little boys loitering 


about the bar or office, encouraged by unlinking 
young men, who give them "tastes of drink," and 
even amuse themselves by teaching them to smoke 

And no children, either boys or girls, can live at a 
public house without hearing and seeing much that it 
is best they should not know. The English travellers 
deprecate the American practice of bringing up young 
people in hotels or boarding-houses. And they are 

When a lady, having with her a young child, and 
no nurse-maid, stops for a day at a hotel, she can 
-avoid the inconvenience of taking the child with her to 
table, and incommoding herself and all who sit near 
her. She has only to intrust the little traveller to a 
chambermaid up-stairs; directing the girl how to take 
care of it, and promising her a gratuity for her trouble. 
She will rarely have cause to regret such an arrange- 
ment. It will spare the annoyance and mortification 
of having the child make a noise at table, and perhaps 
compelling the mother to go away with it. 

DECvx CHURCH. 299 



We wish it were less customary to go to church m 
gay and costly habiliments, converting its sacred pre- 
cincts into a place for the display of finery, and of 
rivalry to your equally bedizened neighbours. In 
many Catholic countries,* a peculiar costume is uni- 
versally adopted for visiting a place of worship — a 
very plain gown of entire black, with a long, black 
cloak, and a black hood finished with a veil that 
shades the face. This dress is kept for the purpose 
of wearing at church. We highly approve the cus- 
tom, and wish that something similar could be intro- 
duced into the United States — particularly on the 
solemn occasions of taking the communion, or being 
confirmed as a christian member. We have known 
young ladies to have elegant dresses made on purpose, 
and to get their hair dressed by a barber when pre 
paring for confirmation. 

In a Sacred Melody of Moore's, St. Jerome tells us— 

"Yet worldly is that heart at best, % 

Which beats beneath a broider'd veil; 
And she who comes in glittering vest 
To mourn her frailty — still is frail." 

* The author is a Protcbtant. 

GOO miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

Endeavour always to be in your pew before the 
service commences, and do not hurry out of it, hastily,' 
the moment the benediction is finished; or begin 
visibly to prepare for departure as soon as it commences. 
Stay quietly till the mass of the crowd has gone. 

If you go into a strange church, or rather into a 
church where you are a stranger, wait in the vestibule 
till you see the sexton ; and then request him to show 
you to a vacant seat, or rather to one which he be- 
lieves will be that day unoccupied — for instance, if the 
family owning it is out of town. This is far better 
than to wander about the aisles alone, or to intrude 
yourself into a pew where you may cause inconve- 
nience to its owners. If you see that a pew is full, 
you know, of course, that you cannot obtain a seat in 
it without dislodging somebody. 

Yet we have seen many a lady, on entering a church 
in which she was a stranger, walk boldly up the middle 
aisle to one of the best pews near the pulpit, and 
pertinaciously stand there, looking steadfastly at its 
rightful occupants, till one of them quitted his own 
seat, and gave it up to her, seeking for himself another 
place wherever he could find one. Those who go to 
strange churches should be contented with seats near 
the door; or at the lower end of the side-aisles; or 
up in the gallery. 

If a family invites you to go to church with them, 
or to come thither, and have a seat in their pew, do 
not take the liberty of asking a friend of your own to 
accompany you; and above all, do not bring a child 
with you. 


Should you (having a pew of your own) ask another 
lady to go with you, call for her in due time ; and she 
ought to be quite ready. Place her in a corner-seat, 
fit being the most comfortable,) and see that she is 
accommodated with a foot-stool; and be assiduous in 
fin ling the places for her in the prayer-book, or hymn- 

In American churches there is much civility to 
strangers. We have often seen, when a person of 
respectable appearance was in quest of a seat, the 
doors of half a dozen pews kindly opened to admit 
him, and, as soon as he entered, a prayer-book offered 
to him open at the proper place. 

No good can result from taking children to church 
when they are too young to read, or to understand. 
They are always eager to go, because they like to go 
everywhere; but when once seated in the pew, they 
soon become tired and restless ; and frequently there 
is no way to keep them quiet, but to let them go to 
sleep in the lap of the mother or elder sister. And 
then they are apt to cry whenever they waken. If 
there are two little boys, they are prone to get to 
playing, or what is far worse, quarrelling. And then 
if they make a noise, some elder member of the family 
is subjected to the mortification of conveying them out 
of church — perhaps by desire of the minister audibly 
expressed from the pulpit. We know clergymen who 
do not permit their children to be taken to chmch till 
they can read — convinced that if their first recollec- 
tions of a place of worship are rather painful than 
pleasant, they are the less likely to grow up with a 


due regard for religion — that is, for religion of the 
heart — the spirit, and not merely the letter. 

We are sorry to see young ladies, on their "way to 
church, laughing and talking loudly, and flirting with 
the beaux that are gallanting them thither. It is too 
probable that these beaux will occupy a large share 
of their thoughts during the hours of worship. Nay, 
there are some so irreverent, and so regardless of the 
sanctity of the place, as to indulge in frequent 
whispers to those near them, or to their friends in the 
adjoining pews. 

A lady of high fashion and fortune, formerly a resi- 
dent of Philadelphia, was noted for the scandalous 
lightness and levity of her behaviour in church — 
laughing and talking, in more than whispers, nearly 
all the time, to the idle young men whom she always 
brought with her, and who, to do them justice, some- 
times seemed rather ashamed of her conduct. Her 
pew was directly in front of the pulpit. One Sunday 
morning, Bishop White gave her a severe and merited 
rebuke, by stopping in his sermon, fixing his eyes 
sadly upon her, and bowing to her, as an intimation 
that till she had ceased he could not go on. We are 
sorry to add that the reproof had no other effect than 
to excite her anger, and caused her immediately to go 
out of church, highly exasperated. That lady went to 
live in Europe, and has not yet become a good woman, 
but greatly the contrary. 

"The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the 
earth keep silence before him/' was the solemn and 


impressive inscription over the altar of St. Augustine's 
church in Philadelphia. 

In visiting a church of a different denomination 
from your own, comply, as far as you can, with all 
the ceremonies observed by the congregation, par- 
ticularly if you are in a foreign country. Even if 
some of these observances are not the least in con- 
formity with your own opinions and feelings, re- 
member that you are there as a guest, and have no 
right to offend or give displeasure to your hosts by 
evincing a marked disapprobation of their mode of 
worship. If you find it very irksome to refrain, 
(which it should not be,) you need not go a second 
time. Every religious sect believes its own faith to 
be the best; but God only knows which really is. 
Christ has said, "By their fruits ye shall know 

304 mips Leslie's behaviour book. 



Having made out a list of the persons you intend 
to invite, proceed to write the notes ; or have them 
written in a neat, handsome hand, by an experienced 
calligrapher. Fashion, in its various changes, some- 
times decrees that these notes, and their envelopes, 
shall be perfectly plain, (though always of the finest 
paper,) and that the wax seals shall of course be very 
small. At other times, the mode is to write on 
embossed note paper, with bordered envelopes, secured 
by fancy wafers, transparent, medallion, gold or silver. 
If the seals are gold or silver, the edges or borders of 
the paper should be also gilt or silvered. Sometimes, 
for a very large or splendid party, the notes are 
engraved and printed on cards. Consult the Direc- 
tory, to obtain the exact address of those to whom you 
send them. 

These invitations may be transmitted by one of the 
City posfroflices ; first putting a stamp on each. Let 
the stamps be such as will leave nothing additional to 
be paid by the receiver. If they go through the 
United States Post-Office, the carrier will require 
another cent for each, beside the stamp. In Phila- 


delphia, Blood's Dispatch Post may be trusted, as to 
punctuality, (if faithfully put into the letter-box at 
the proper time;) and there is no cost but that of the 
penny stamp which you put on yourself. 

Another way is to send round the notes by a reliable 
servant-man of your own ; or to engage, for this pur- 
pose, one of the public waiters that are hired to attend 
at parties. The notes are usually sent either eight, 
seven, or six days before the party — if it is to be very 
large, ten days or two weeks. In the notes, always 
specify not only the day of the week, but also the day 
of the month, when the party is to take place. It is 
very customary now to designate the hour of assem- 
bling, and then the company are expected to be punc- 
tual to that time. People, really genteel, do not go 
ridiculously kte. When a ball is intended, let the 
word "Dancing" be introduced in small letters, at the 
lower left-hand corner of the note. 

For a bridal party, subsequent to a wedding, the 
words now used are thus — 

Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Morland, 

At Home, on Thursday evening, Sept. 22, 1853. 

Their residence must be given beneath, in a corner, 
and in smaller letters. 

Oblong slices of plumb-cake, iced all over, are now 
sent round in very pretty white card-board boxes, ex- 
actly fitting each slice, covered on the inside with lace- 
paper, and an engraved card of the bride and groom 
laid on the top cf the cake. These boxes (to be had 


at the fancy stationers,) are of various prices ; some of 
them are very elegant and costly. 

At wedding-parties, it is usual for the bride and 
bridesmaids to appear in exactly the same dresses 
they wore at the marriage ; all of them ranged in 
their respective stations before the company begin to 

When the marriage-guests are not too numerous, 
it is customary to have all the company shown into 
the largest parlour, when they first arrive ; the folding- 
doors being closed between. Meanwhile, the bride 
and groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen, with the 
heads of the family, arrange themselves in a line or a 
semi-circle ; the most important personages in the 
centre, with the clergyman in front of them. When 
all is ready, the doors are thrown open, the guests 
advance, and the ceremony begins. When it is over, 
and the bride is receiving the compliments of her 
friends, we hope the silliest woman present will not 
go up and ask her the foolish question, " If she does 
not feel already like an old married woman?" 

A crowd at a wedding is now obsolete. We once 
heard of a marriage in a great family, where the com- 
pany was so numerous that all the doors were blocked 
up, and quite inaccessible ; and the bride could only 
make*her entrance by being taken round outside, ard 
lifted through a back window — the groom jumping in 
after her. 

Dancing at weddings is old-fashioned. A band ot 
music playing in the hall is of no use, as on such occa- 
sions no one listens to it, and some complain of the 



noise. We think a marriage in church is not as 
fine* a spectacle as may be imagined. The effect is 
lost in the size of the building, and broken up by the 
intervention of the aisles and pews ; the wedding 
guests seated in the latter, and the former occupied by 
people out of the street, coming in to see the show. 
And this they will do, if not forcibly excluded ; par- 
ticularly idle boys, and nurse-maids with children, 
all trying to get as near the altar as possible. 

If the bride and groom are to set out on a journey 
immediately after the ceremony, it is best for her to 
be married in a handsome travelling-dress — new for 
the occasion, of course. This is often done now. She 
can reserve the usual wedding costume for her first 
party after returning home. 

In preparing for a party, it is well (especially if you 
have had but little experience yourself,) to send for 
one of the best public waiters, and consult with him on 
the newest style of " doing these things." A respect- 
able coloured man will be found the most efficient for 
this purpose. He can also give you an idea of the 
probable expense. "VVe do not, of course, allude to 
magnificent entertainments, such as are celebrated in 
the newspapers, and become a nine days' wonder ; 
and are cited as costing, not hundreds, but thousands 
of dollars. 

In case the required waiter should be pre-engaged, 
it is well to send for, and consult him, a week or two 
before your party. 

We knew a lady who, some years ago, sent for 
Carroll, (a very excellent mulatto man, well known in 

miss i.!' 'lie'h beii vvrou] 

Philadelphia,) to officiate at a projected party. Car- 
roll, in very polite terms, expressed that he vrafl 
engaged for that identical evening to attend at a ball. 
<k Then," said the lady, "you must try to furnish me 
•with some one else, in your place. Where is Bogle V* 
" I know Bogle can't come," answered Carroll; "he 
is bespoke that night for a wedding." " Shepherd, 
then?" said the lady; "see if you cannot send me 
Shepherd." "As to Shepherd," replied Carroll, "he 
is sick in his bed, and like to keep so." "Where is 
Solomon King, then?" pursued the lady; "Solomon 
King will do very well." " Indeed, ma'am," answered 
Carroll, " I don't think Solomon King will suit you 
now, anyhow; he's taken very much to drink, and 
besides he's dead !" 

Apropos to the talk of coloured people. — We were 
told by a southern lady, that one of her girls being 
dressed for an entertainment given by a neighbour to 
the servants, came to her, and said : " Mistress, Becky 
has come for me to go with her ; and she says her mis- 
tress has gave her two grand words to say at the 
party. — Now, I want you to give me two words that 
shall beat Becky's ; for I know you are a heap smarter 
than her mistress." 

" Tell me the words given by Becky's mistress,' 
said my informant. 

"Yes, ma'am. — One is Desdemona, and one is 
Cataplasm /" 

No doubt, Becky, in some way, contrived to say 
them both, 

In engaging your presiding genius, it is well to 


desire him to come on the morning of the party ; he 
will be found of great advantage in assisting with the 
final preparations. He will attend to the silver, and 
china, and glass ; and see that the lamps are all in 
order, and that the fires, coal-grates, furnaces, &c, 
are in proper trim for evening. He will bring with 
him (at whatever hour you indicate,) his " young 
men," as he calls them ; (if coloured youths, they are 
too genteel to answer to the name of boys ;) and these 
are his apprentices that he has in training for the pro- 

One of these men should be stationed in the vesti- 
bule, or just within the front door. On that evening, 
(if not at other times,) let this door be furnished with 
a lamp, placed on a shelf or bracket in the fan-light, 
to illumine the steps, and shine down upon the pave- 
ment, where the ladies cross it on alighting from the 
carriages.' If the evening proves rainy, let another 
man attend with an umbrella, to assist in sheltering 
them on their way into the house. The ladies should 
all wear over-shoes, to ' guard their thin slippers from 
the damp, in their transit from the coach to the ves- 

At the top, or on the landing-place, of the first stair- 
case, let another man be posted, to show the female 
guests to their dressing-room ; while still another waiter 
stays near the gentlemen's room till the company have 
clone arriving. 

In the apartment prepared as a fixing-room for tne 
ladies^ two or more women should be all the evening 
in attendance; both rooms being well warmed, well 

310 miss Leslie's behaviour took. 

lighted, and famished with all that mny bo requisite 

for giving the last touches to head, feet, and figure, 
previous to entering the drawing-room. When ready 
to go down, the ladies meet their gentlemen in the 
passage between the respective dressing-rooms ; the 
beaux being there already, waiting for the belles, who 
must not detain them long — men being very impatient 
on these, and all other occasions. , 

If any lady is without an escort, and has no acquaint- 
ances at hand to take her under their wing, she should 
send for the master of the house to meet her near the 
door, and give her his arm into the drawing-room. 
He will then lead her to the hostess, and to a seat. 
Let her then bow, as a sign that she releases him from 
farther attendance, and leaves him at liberty to divide 
his civilities among his other guests. 

In the ladies' room, (beside two toilet glasses with 
their branches lighted,) let a Psyche or Cheval glass be 
also there. Likewise, a hand-mirror on each toilet to 
enable the ladies to see the back of their heads ; with 
an ample supply of pins, combs, brushes, hair pins, &c. ; 
and a work-box containing needles, thread, thimble, 
and scissors, to repair accidents to articles of dress. 
Let there be bottles of fine eau de cologne, and cam- 
phor and hartshorn, in case of faintings. Among the 
furniture, have a sofa and several foot-stools, for the 
ladies to sit on if they wish to change their shoes. 

The women attending must take charge of the 
hoods, cloaks, shawls, over-shoes, &c. ; rolling up 
together the things that belong to each lady, and 
putting each bundle in some place they can easily 


remember when wanted at the breaking up of the 


It is now the custom for the lady of the house (and 
those of her own family,) to be drest rather plainly, 
showing no desire to eclipse any of her guests, on this 
her own night. But her attire, though simple, should 
be handsome, becoming, and in good taste. Her busi- 
ness is, without any bustle or apparent officiousness, 
quietly and almost imperceptibly to try and render 
the evening as pleasant as possible to all her guests ; 
introducing those who, though not yet acquainted, 
ought to be ; and finding seats for ladies who are not 
young enough to continue standing. 

The custom that formerly prevailed in the absurd 
days of crowds and jams, when dense masses were 
squeezed into small apartments, of removing every 
seat and every piece of furniture from the room, is 
now obsolete. A hard squeeze is no longer a high 
boast. Genteel people no longer go to parties on the 
stair-case, or in the passages. The ladies are not now 
so compressed that nothing of them is seen but their 
heads ; the sleeves, skirts, &c, undergoing a continual 
demolition down below. We knew of a lady, who, at 
a late hour, went to a crowded party in a real blonde 
dress, which was rubbed entirely off her before she 
reached the centre of the room, and it was hanging 
about her satin skirt in shreds, like transparent rags 
dissolving into "air — thin air!" For this blonde she 
had given two hundred dollars ; and she was obliged 
to go home and exchange its tatters for a costume that 
was likely to last out the evening. 

3 1 2 mi; s Leslie's behavioi r book. 

In houses where space is not abundant, it is now 
customary to have several moderate parties in the 
course of the season, instead of inviting all your "dear 
five hundred friends" on the self-same night. 

"When the hour of assembling is designated in the 
notes of invitation, (as it always should be,) the guests, 
of course, will take care to arrive as nearly as possible 
about that hour. At large parties, tea is usually 
omitted — it being supposed that every one has already 
taken that beverage at home, previous to commencing 
the business of the toilette. Many truly hospitable 
ladies still continue the custom, thinking that it makes 
a pleasant beginning to the evening, and exhilerates 
the ladies after the fatigue of dressing and arriving. 
So it does. For a large compan} r , a table with tea, 
coffee, and cakes, may be set in the ladies-room, 
women being in attendance to supply the guests with 
those refreshments before they go down. Pitchers 
of ice-water and glasses should also be kept in this 

If there is no tea, the refreshments begin with 
lemonade, macaroons, kisses, &c, sent round soon 
after the majority of the company has come. If there 
is tea, ice-water should be presented after it, to all ; 
otherwise, there will be much inconvenience by nume- 
rous ladies despatching the servants, separately, to 
bring them some. 

After a little time allotted to conversation, music is 
generally introduced by one of the ladies of the family, 
if she plays well ; otherwise, she invites a competent 
friend to commence. A lady who can do nothing 


il without her notes," or who cannot read music, and 
play at sight, is scarcely enough of a musician to per- 
form in a large company — for this incapacity is an 
evidence that she has not a good ear, or rather a good 
memory for melody — or that her musical talent wants 
more cultivation. A large party is no time or place 
for practising, or for risking attempts at new things, 
or for vainly trying to remember old ones. 

Some young ladies rarely sit down to a piano in any 
house but their own, without complaining that the 
instrument is out of tune. " It is a way they have." 
We have known a fair amateur to whom this complaint 
was habitual, and never omitted ; even when we knew 
that, to provide against it, the piano had really been 
tuned that very day. 

The tuning of a harp immediately before playing is 
sometimes a very tedious business. Would it not be 
well for the harpist to come a little earlier than the 
rest, and tune it herself previous to their, arrival ? 
And let her deem that tuning sufficient for a while, 
and not repeat the operation more than once again in 
the course of the evening, especially in the midst of 
her first piece. However delicate may be her own ear, 
or exquisitely fastidious her own taste, she may bo 
assured that few of her audience would detect any defi- 
ciency, if she only went quietly on, and did not herself 
imply that deficiency. 

Unless a gentleman is himself familiar with the air, 
let him not, on "mounting guard beside the piano," 
volunteer to turn over the pages for the lady who is 

31 I miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

playing. He will certainly turn them over too soon 
or too late, and therefore annoy and confuse her. Still 
worse, let him not attempt to accompany her with his 
voice, unless he is an excellent musician, or accustomed 
to singing with her. 

For the hearers to crowd closely round the instru 
ment, is smothering to the vocalist. Let them keep 
at a proper distance, and she will sing the better, and 
they will hear the better. It is so rude to talk during 
a song, that it is never done in company ; but a little 
low conversation is sometimes tolerated in the adjoin- 
ing room, during the performance of one of those inter-' 
minable pieces of instrumental music, whose chief merit 
lies in its difficulty, and which (at least to the ears of 
the uninitiated,) is rather a bore than a pleasure. We 
have read a French novel, in which the only child of a 
farmer has just come home from a provincial boarding- 
school, and the seigneur, or lord of the manor, has 
volunteered a visit to these his respected tenants. The 
mother, amidst all the bustle of preparing a great 
dinner for the occasion, comes in to remind Annette 
that if the seigneur should ask her to play for him, she 
is to curtsey very low, and thank him for the honour. 
"And then, Annette," adds the good old dame, "be 
sure to play that tune which your father and I hate so 
much I" 

By the bye, it is very old fashioned to return thanks 
to a lady for her singing, or to tell her she is very 
kind to oblige the company so often. If she is con- 
scious of really singing well, and sees that she delights 
her hearers, she will not fuel sensible of fatigue — at 


least till the agreeable excitement of conscious success 
is over. 

It is ill-mannered, when a lady has just finished a 
song, for another lady to exclaim in her hearing — 
"Mary Jones sings that delightfully!" — or — "How 
charmingly Susan Smith gives U3 that ballad !" Let 
the glories of Mary Jones and Susan Smith rest, for 
that evening, within the limits of their own circle. 

Do not ask any lady for a song that has already 
been sung on this very evening by another person. 

People who have no idea of music sometimes make 
strange blunders in their requests. We know of a 
female who, at a large party, hearing a young lady 
accompany her voice on the national instrument of 
Spain, became very urgent to have the Battle of Prague 
performed on the guitar. 

It is sometimes fashionable, when the company is 
not too large for what is called " a sitting party," to 
vary the amusements of the evening by introducing 
some of the numerous plays or games which are always 
the delight of fine children, and which, by way of 
variety, frequently afford much diversion to adults. It 
is not necessary that all these plays should become "a 
keen encounter of the wits," or that all the players 
should be persons of talent. But it is certainly desi- 
rable that the majority of the company should ha\e 
some tact, and some quickness of parts ; that they 
should have read some books, and mixed somewhat 
with the world — otherwise, they will not be clever even 
at playing plays. Those who are incapable of under- 
standing, or entering into the spirit of a play, would 


do well to excuse themselves from joining in it, and 
prefer sitting by as spectators. Many young ladies 
can play nothing beyond " How do you like it?" and 
are not great at that — saying, when the question is 
put to them — k< Me! I am sure I don't know how I like 
it — can't you pass me by?" You may as well take 
her at her word, pass her by, and proceed on to her 
next neighbour ; for if she does concoct an answer, it 
will probably, if the word is "brush" be liked "to 
sweep the hearth with;" or if "Hat" is the word, it 
will be liked " of Beaver" — or something equally 

Such plays as The Lawyer, and The Secret Word, 
are very entertaining in good hands, but complete 
failures when attempted by the dull or illiterate. The 
amusing game of Proverbs had best be given up for 
that evening, if, on trial, it is found that few of the 
ladies have any knowledge of those true, though homely 
aphorisms, that have been aptly called " the concen- 
trated wisdom of nations." 

'We know a very ingenious gentleman -who, in play- 
ing the Secret Word, contrives to introduce that word 
in some very short and very humorous anecdote. 

A family, on one side of European origin, made a 
visit to the transatlantic continent, where they found, 
still living in a certain great city, a relative connected 
with an ancient branch of nobility. This rendered 
them more genteel than ever — and when, covered with 
glory, they returned to this poor republic of ours, the 
names of nobles, and even of princes, with whom they 
hud associated, were ,k familiar in their mouths uj> 


household words." At a party where these personages 
were so engaged in talking, that they forgot to keep 
the run of the plays ; a new game was commenced by 
a young gentleman slipping out of the room, and then 
returning with a very lugubrious visage, and announ- 
cing, in a melancholy tone, the death of a certain 
monarch, whom all the company were immediately to 
unite in lamenting loudly, on pain of paying forfeits 
unless they steadily persisted in their dismal faces. 
On the sad intelligence being proclaimed — " The king 
of Bohemia is dead!" — one of our travelled ladies 
mistaking it for a solemn truth, turned to her daughter 
with— " Ah! Caroline! did you hear that? The 
dear good king of Bohemia, who was so kind to us 
whenever we attended his court !" " Oh ! mamma !" 
replied Caroline, putting her handkerchief to her 
eyes — " the news is really heart-breaking. He paid 

us so much attention all the time we were in , in 

his dominions. It will be long before we cease grieving 
for the king of Bohemia." 

The gentleman who brought this deplorable news 
also had recourse to his handkerchief, and slipped out 
into the hall to indulge his mirth ; and several others 
slipped out after him for the same purpose. No one, 
however, undeceived these ladies, and for several days 
at their morning calls they continued to mourn for the 
king of Bohemia. 

Conundrums * afford infinite diversion at a small 

* Miss Leslie's American Girl's Book (published by C. S. Francis,) 
contains a great variety of amusing plays, ways to redeem forfeits, 
&c., witn au unusual number of conundrums. 


party, provided the company, like Billy Black's cat, 
"almost always gives up." Long guessing occupies 
too much time; a commodity of which we Americans 
seldom have any to spare. 

Early in the Mexican war, a premium was awarded 
in Philadelphia for a very clever conundrum, alluding 
to a certain " Bold Dragoon" at Palo Alto. " In what 
manner did Captain May cheat the Mexicans ?" " He 
charged them with a troop of horse which they never 

Our confectioners, in making up the bon bons called 
" secrets" instead of enfolding with the sugar-plumb a 
printed slip containing a contemptible distich, would do 
w T ell to have good conundrums printed, (with the 
answer,) and enclosed in the ornamented papers. They 
would certainly be more popular than the old-fashioned 
mottoes — such, for instance, as 

"My heart, like a candle of four to the pound, 
Consumes all the day, and no comfort is found." 

Yet the above is one of the least bad. Most of these 
mottoes^ are so flat as to be not even ridiculous. 

At a dancing party, the ladies of the house decline 
joining in it, out of politeness to their guests, till 
towards the latter part of the evening, when the 
company begins to thin off, and the dancers are 

We admire a charming girl, who, in her own house, 
being asked to dance by an agreeable man, has the 
self-denial to say to him — " Being at home, and desi- 
rous that my friends shall share as much as possible 


in the enjoyments of the evening, I would rather 
refrain from dancing myself. Let me present you to 
Miss Lindley, or to Miss Darwood ; you will find either 
of these young ladies a delightful partner." 

These amiable refusals we have heard from our 
amiable and unselfish young friends, and such, we 
hope, are heard often in what is truly "the best 

Ladies who are strangers in the place, are, by cour- 
tesy, entitled to particular attention from those who 
know them. 

We have sometimes seen, at a private ball, the least 
attractive woman dancing every set, (though acquitting 
herself very ill,) while handsome and agreeable ladies 
were sitting still. The mystery was solved on finding 
that the lady of the house carried her ultra benevo- 
lence so very far, as to make a business of procuring 
partners all the time for this unlovely and unprepos- 
sessing female, lest she should feel neglected. Now a 
certain portion of this officiousness is highly praise- 
worthy, but too much of it is a great annoyance to 
the victimized gentlemen — especially to those who, 
as a backwoodsman would say, are certainly " some 

Even the most humane man, whatever may be the 
kindness of his heart, would rather not exhibit himself 
on the floor with a partner ni jeune ni jolie, who is 
ill-drest, looks badly, moves ungracefully, can neither 
keep time to the music nor understand the figure, and 
in fact has " no dancing in her soul." If, with all the 
rest, she is dull and stupid, it is cruel for any ldnd 


r riend to inflict her on a gentleman as a partner. Yet 
such things we have seen. 

On one occasion we threw away a great deal of good 
pity on a youth, whom we thought had been inveigled 
into quadrilling with a lady who made the worst figure 
we ever saw in a hall-room. We afterwards learned 
that he had actually solicited the introduction ; and we 
saw that he devoted himself to her all the remainder 
of the evening. She was a rich heiress. 

Self-knowledge is a rare acquirement. But when a 
lady does suspect herself to be deficient in all the 
essential qualifications of a ball-room, she should give 
up dancing entirely, and be magnanimous enough 
always to excuse herself positively, when asked to 
dance; especially if verging on "a certain age." Let 
all " trippings on the light fantastic toe" be left to the 
.young and gay. 

A deformed woman dancing is " a sorry sight." She 
should never consent to any such exhibition of her 
unhappy figure. She will only be asked out of mere 
compassion, or from some interested and unworthy 
motive. We are asked — " Why should not such a lady 
dance, if it gives her pleasure ?" We answer — " It 
should not give her pleasure." 

When a lady is so unfortunate as to have a crooked, 
or misshapen person, it is well for her to conceal it as 
much as possible, by wearing a shawl, a large cape, a 
mantilla, a long sacque, (not a polka jacket ;) and on 
no account a tight-bodied pelisse ; or still worse, a 
spencer — than which last, nothing is more trying to 
the form of the waist, except a riding-habit. 


We saw Frederika Bremer at an evening assemblage, 
ami she was so judiciously attired, that her personal 
defects did not prevent her from looking really well. 
Over a rich black satin dress, she wore a long loose 
sacque of black lace, lined with grey silk. Erom 
beneath the short sleeves of her sacque, came down 
long wide sleeves of white lace, confined with bracelets 
round her fair and delicate little hands. Her throat 
was covered closely with a handsome collar of French 
embroidered muslin, and her beautiful and becoming 
cap was of white lace, white flowers, and white satin 
ribbon — her light hair being sjmply parted on her 
broad and intellectual forehead. With her lively blue 
eyes, and the bright and pleasant expression of her 
countenance, no one seemed to notice the faults of her 
nose, mouth, and complexion — and those of her figure 
were so well concealed as to be scarcely apparent. 
'And then her lady-like ease, and the total absence of 
all affectation, rendered her graceful and preposses- 
sing. True it is, that with a good heart and a good 
mind no woman can be ugly ; at least, they soon cease 
to be so considered, even if nature has been unkind to 
them in feature, figure, and complexion. An intelli- 
gent eye, and a good humoured mouth, are excellent 
substitutes for the want of regular beauty. Physiog- 
nomists say that the eye denotes the mind, and the 
mouth indicates the heart. 

Now as a deformed lady may render herself very 
agreeable as a good conversationist, we repeat that 
she has no occasion to exhibit the defects of her person 
by treading the mazes of a cotillion, or above all, in 


going lown a countey dance, should those " never- 
ending, still beginning" performances come again into 
fashion. Young men say that an ugly, misshapen 
female, who waltzes, or joins in a polka, or redowa, or 
mazurka, deserves the penitentiary. 

We deprecate the practice of keeping the small 
children of the family up all the evening, running and 
scampering in every one's way, or sleeping about on 
the chairs and sofas, and crying when wakened up to 
be carried to bed. Would it not be much better 
to have them sent to bed at their usual time ? We 
knew two well-trained little boys, who submitted obe- 
diently to go to bed at their customary hour, on the 
night of their mother's party, of which they had seen 
nothing but the decorations of the parlours. They 
told their parents next morning, that still they had a 
great deal of pleasure, for after the carriages began 
to arrive, they had lain awake and " heard every 

At a large party, or at a wedding, there is gene- 
rally a supper table ; lemonade and cakes having been 
sent round during the evening. The host and hostess 
should see that all the ladies are conducted thither, 
and that none are neglected, particularly those that, 
are timid, and stand back. It is the business of the 
host to attend to those himself, or to send the waiters 
to them. 

If the party is so large that all the ladies cannot go 
to the table at once, let the matrons be conducted 
thither first, and the young ladies afterwards. If there 
is a crowd, it is not unusual to have a cord (a hand- 


some one, of course,) stretched across the door of the 
supper-room, and guarded by a servant, who explains 
that no more are to pass till after that cord is taken 
down. Meanwhile, the younger part of the company 
amuse themselves in the adjacent rooms. No lady 
should take the liberty of meddling with the flowers 
that ornament the table, or of secreting a good things'* 
to carry home to her children. 

Apropos to flowers. — The stiff, hard bouquets are 
now obsolete, where the flowers (stripped of their 
natural green leaves,) were tied en masse on a wooden 
skewer, against a flat back-ground of cedar sprays. 
The more elegant arrangement is revived of arranging 
them in a full round cluster, with a fair portion of their 
real leaves ; the largest and finest flowers in the centre, 
(large white ones particularly) ; those of middle size 
next ; and the light, long, and branchy sprays and ten- 
drils at the extremities, the smallest near the bottom 
of the bouquet, which is not so large and massy as 
formerly, but more graceful and select. The bou- 
quet may be carried on the young lady's arm, sus- 
pended to a long and handsome white ribbon tied in a 
bow — a coloured ribbon will disturb the effect of the 
flowers. There should be nothing to interfere with 
their various and beautiful tints. 

At a ball, let no coloured chalks or crayons be used 
for the floor. They will rub off on the white shoes of 
the ladies, and spoil them. 

When, instead of setting a supper-table, refreshments 
are handed round to the ladies, the fashion has long 
since gone by of a gentleman walking beside each 

324 mips Leslie's behaviour book. 

waiter, and " assisting the ladies." It is now found 
that if the articles are properly arranged, and of the 
proper sort, the ladies can much more conveniently 
help themselves, and with less risk of staining or 
greasing their dresses. Unless the gentleman was " a 
thorough-going party-man," and stereotyped as such, 
he often committed rather vexatious blunders, particu- 
larly if he was not au-courant to the new improve- 
ments, and accustomed to being " at good men's 
feasts ;" or rather, at women s good feasts. One eve- 
ning at a party, we saw an "ingenuous youth," whose 
experience in that line must have been rather limited, 
officiously undertake the portioning out to the ladies 
of a composition hitherto quite new to himself. This 
was " a trifle," being the contents of a very large glass 
bowl, filled with macaroons, &c, dissolved in wine, &c, 
with profuse layers of custard, sweetmeats, &c, and 
covered in at the top with a dome of whipt cream 
heaped high and thick over the whole. The pea-green 
youth assisted the ladies to nothing but saucers of 
froth from the top, thinking that was the right way. 
At last, the mulatto man, whose superior tact must 
have been all this time in a state of suffering, explained 
to the novice in trifles, that a portion of all the various 
contents of the glass bowl should be allotted to each 
saucer. "That!" said the surprised doer of honours, 
" I thought all that was only the grounds !" The 
coloured man relieved him by taking the silver server 
round a second time to all the ladies, who had hitherto 
missed the sediment of the syllabub. 

At a summer evening party, the refreshments are 


of a much lighter description than at a winter enter- 
tainment ; consisting chiefly of ice-creams, water-ices, 
fresh fruit, lady-cake, and almond sponge-cake. Also 
strawberry or raspberry charlottes, which are made by 
arranging in glass bowls slices of cake cut in even and 
regular forms, and spread thickly over with the fruit 
mashed to a jam with white sugar — the bowls being 
heaped with whipt cream. 

The dresses of the ladies are of clear muslin, or some 
other light material, and without any elaborate trim- 
ming. The hair is simply arranged — curls being incon- 
venient in warm weather ; and the only head ornament3 
are ribbons, or real flowers. 

At summer evening-parties the veranda is always 
put into requisition, being cooler than any part of the 

At summer dinner-parties, let the dessert be served 
in another and cooler apartment ; the company quitting 
the dining-room as soon as they have done with the 
meats, &c. The beauties of the dessert appear to 
greater advantage, when seen all at one view on a 
fresh table. 

We will introduce a minute account of a very 
fashionable English dinner-party,, obtained from a 
friend who was one of the guests. It may afford some 
hints for the routine of an elegant entertainment, 
a V Anglais, in our own country. 

The guests were twenty-four in number, and they 
began to assemble at half past seven, punctually. 
They were received in the library, where the host and 
hostess were standing ready to receive them, intro- 


during those who were strangers to each other. When 
all had arrived, the butler entered, and going up to 
the lady of the house, told her in a low voice that 
''dinner was served." The hostess then arranged 
those that were not previously acquainted, and the 
gentlemen conducted the ladies to the dining-room ; 
the principal stranger taking the mistress of the house, 
and the master giving his arm to the chief of the 
female guests. In England, these arrangements are 
made according to the rank of the ladies — that of the 
gentlemen is not considered. A duchess takes prece- 
dence of a marchioness, a viscountess of a countess, a 
baroness of a barony's lady, &c, — for a baron is above 
a baronet. Going into the dining-room, the compay 
passed by the butler and eight footmen, all of whom 
were stationed in two rows. The butler was drest 
entirely in black — the footmen in their livery. Ac- 
cording to a new fashion, they may now wear long 
gaiters. White kid gloves are indispensable to the 

The table was set for twenty-six — and standing on 
it were elegant gilt canclelabras. All the lights were 
wax candles. Chandeliers were suspended from the 
ceiling. In the middle of the table was a magnificent 
plateau, or centre ornament of gold; flowers surmounted 
the summit ; and the circular stages below were covered 
with confectionery elegantly arranged. On each side 
of the plateau, and above and below, were tall china 
fruit-baskets. In the centre of each basket were 
immense pine-apples of hot-house growth, with their 
fresh green leaves. Below the pine-apples were large 


bunches of purple and white hot-house grapes, Deauti- 
fully disposed, with leaves and tendrils hanging over 
the sides of the baskets. Down each side of the whole 
long table, were placed large, round, saucer-shaped 
fruit-dishes, heaped up with peaches, nectarines, pears, 
plumbs, ripe gooseberries, cherries, currants, strawber- 
ries, &c. All the fruits not in season were supplied 
from hot-houses. And alternating with the fruit were 
all the entremets in covered dishes, placed on long slips 
of damask the whole length of the table. All the 
plate was superb. The dinner-set was of French china, 
gilt, and painted with roses. At every plate was a 
caraffe of water, with a tumbler turned down over it, 
and several wine-glasses. The napkins were large. 
The side-board held only the show-silver and the wine. 
The side-tables were covered with elegant damask 
cloths. On these were ranged, laid along in numerous 
rows, the knives, forks, and spoons to be used at 
dinner. The dessert-spoons were in the form of hollow 
leaves, the stems being the handles. They were beau- 
tifully engraved in tasteful patterns. The fruit-knives 
had silver blades and pearl handles. There were two 
soups (white and brown,) standing on a side-table. 
Bach servant handed the things in his white kid 
gloves, and with a damask napkin under his thumb. 
They offered (mentioning its name in a low voice,) a 
plate of each soup to each guest. After the soup, 
Eock and Moselle wine were offered to each guest, 
that they might choose either. A dish of fish was 
then placed at each end of the table — one was salmon, 
the other turbot. These dishes were immediately 

32S miss Leslie's behaviour look. 

taken off to be helped by the servants, both sorts of 
fish being offered to each person. Then the appro- 
priate sauce for the fish — also cucumbers to eat with 
the salmon. No castors were on the large table, but 
they were handed round by the servants. Directly after 
the fish came the entremets, or French dishes. The 
wine following the fish was Madeira and Sherry. 

Afterwards, a saddle or haunch of Welsh mutton 
was placed at the master's end of the table, and at the 
lady's end a boiled turkey. These dishes being 
removed to the side-tables, very thin slices of each 
were handed round. The poultry was not dissected — 
nothing being helped but the breast. Ham and tongue 
was then supplied to those who took poultry; and 
currant-jelly to the eaters of mutton. Next came the 
vegetables, handed round on dishes divided into four 
compartments, each division containing a different sort 
of vegetable. 

Next, two dishes of game were put on — one before 
the master of the house, and the other before the mis- 
tress. The game (which was perfectly well-done,) 
was helped by them, and sent round with the appro- 
priate sauce. Then, placed along the table, were the 
sweet things — charlottes, jellies, frozen fruit, &c. A 
lobster salad, drest and cut up large, was put on with 
the sweets. On a side-table were Stilton and cream 
cheese, to be eaten with the salad. After this, port 
wine — the champagne being early in the dinner. Next 
the sweets were handed round. With the sweets were 
frozen fruits — fruits cut up, and frozen with isinglass- 
jelly, (red, in moulds.) 


Next, a dessert plate was given to each guest, and 
on it a ground glass plate, about the size of a saucer. 
Between these plates was a crochet-worked white doyly, 
of the size of the under-plate ; the crochet-work done 
with thread, so as to resemble lace. These doylies 
were laid under the ground-glass plate, to deaden the 
noise of their collision. Then was brought from the 
side-table a ground-glass plate of ice-cream, or water- 
ice, which you took in exchange for that before you. 
The water-ice was frozen in moulds, in the form „f 
fruit, and suitably coloured. The baskets containing 
the fruit were then removed to the side-tables, where 
the servants had silver scissors, with which they clipped 
off small bunches of the grapes, and the green tops of 
the pine-apples, and a portion of the flesh of the fruit. 
The middle part was then pared and sliced. On each 
dessert-plate was placed a slice of pine-apple, and 
small bunches of white and blue grapes. After the 
grapes and pine-apples were thus handed round, the 
dishes of the other fruits were then offered successively 
to every guest. After the ground-glass and doylies, 
there was no farther change of plates. 

After sitting a while over the fruit, the lady of the 
house gives the signal, by looking and bowing to the 
ladies on each side, and the ladies at this signal pre- 
pare to retire. The gentlemen all rise, and remain 
standing while the ladies depart — the master of the 
house holding the door open. The servants then all 
retire, except the butler, who remains to wait on the 
gentlemen, while they linger awhile (not more than a 
quarter of an hour,) over the fruit and wine. 




I-i may be well to caution our young friends against 
Certain bad practices, easily contracted, but sometimes 
diffieult to relinquish. The following are things not 
to be done : — Biting your nails. Slipping a ring up 
and down your finger. Sitting cross-kneed, and, 
jogging your feet. Drumming on the table with 
your knuckles; or, still worse, tinking on a piano 
with your fore-finger only. Humming a tune before 
strangers. Singing as you go up and down stairs. 
Putting your arm round the neck of another young 
girl, or promenading the room with arms encircling 
waists. Holding the hand of a friend all the time she 
sits beside you; or kissing and fondling her before 
company. Sitting too closely. 

Slapping a gentleman with your handkerchief, or 
tapping him with your fan. Allowing him to take a 
ring off your finger, to look at it. Permitting him to 
unclasp your bracelet, or, still worse, to inspect your 
brooch. When these ornaments are to be shown to 
smother person, always take them off for the purpose. 
Pulling at your own ringlets, or your own ear-rings — 
or fingering your neck ribbon. Suffering a gentle- 



man to touch your curls. Reading -with a gentleman 
off the same book or newspaper. Looking over the 
shoulder of any person who is reading or writing 
Taking up a written paper from the table, and ex- 
amining it. 

To listen at door-cracks, and peep through key- 
holes, is vulgar and contemptible. So it is to ask 
children questions concerning their parents, though 
such things are still done. 

If you mean that you were angry, do not say you 
were "mad." — "It made me so mad" — "I was quite 
mad at her," are phrases not to be used by people 
considering themselves genteel. Anger and madness 
are not the same, or should not be ; though it is true 
that ungoverned rage, is, sometimes, carried so far as 
to seem like insanity. 

Enter into no freaks of fashion that are silly, un- 
meaning, and unlady-like ; even if they have been 
introduced by a belle, and followed by other belles. 
Commit no absurdity because a public singer or 
dancer has done so in her ignorance of good beha- 
viour. During the Jenny Lind fever, there were 
young ladies who affected to skuttle into a drawing- 
room all of a sudden, somewhat as the fair Swede 
came skuttling in upon the concert stage, because in 
reality she knew not how to make her entrance grace- 
fully. Other demoiselles twined and waved about, 
with body, head, and eyes, never a moment , quiet. 
This squirming (as it was called) originated in a very 
bad imitation of Fanny Elssler's dancing motions. 
At one time there were girls at parties, who stood on 

miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

one foot, and with the other kicked up their dresses 
behind, while talking to gentlemen. This fashion 
began with a celebrated beauty who " dared do any 
thing." Luckily, these "whims and oddities" are 
always of short duration, and are never adopted by 
young ladies of good taste and refinement. 

Do not nod your head, or beat time with fan or 
foot while listening to music. 

Never at a party consent to accompany another 
lady in a duet, unless you are accustomed to singing 
with her. Still worse — do not volunteer to "assist" 
her in a song that is not a duet. Each voice will 
interrupt and spoil the other. A lady who sings by 
ear only, cannot accompany one that sings by note. 

One of the most horrible sounds imaginable is that 
produced by several fine voices all singing different 
songs. This cats' concert (as school-girls call it) 
results in a shocking and yet ludicrous discord, 
equally frightful and laughable. And yet all the 
performers are singing individually well. Try it. 

Raising a window-sash, in cold weather, without 
first ascertaining if the rest of the company are, like 
yourself, too warm. Leaving the parlour door open 
in winter — a perpetual occurrence at hotels and 

Talking so loudly that you can be heard all over 
the room. Or so low that you cannot be heard at all, 
even by those who are conversing with you. This 
last fault is the worst. To talk with one who has a 
habit of muttering unintelligibly, is like trying to read 
a letter ilhgibly written. 


Usin£ too often the word "madam" or "ma'am," 
which in fact, is now nearly obselete in familiar con- 
versation. In the old French tragedies the lovers 
addressed their mistresses as "madam." But then 
the stage Alexander wore a powdered wig, and a 
laced coat, knee-breeches, and a long-skirted waist- 
coat; and Roxana figured in a hoop-petticoat, a 
brocade gown, a flowered apron, and a towering 
gauze cap. The frequent use of "sir" is also out of 
fashion. "Yes, ma'am," "No, ma'am," "Yes, sir," 
^No, sir," no longer sounds well, except from children 
to their elders. If you have not distinctly heard 
what another lady has just said to you, do not denote 
it by saying, "Ma'am?" but remark to her, "Excuse 
me, I did not exactly hear you !" 

Never, in a public parlour, place yourself in a posi- 
tion where you can secretly hear conversation that is 
not intended for you — for instance in a corner behind 
a pillar. If you hear yourself talked of, it is mean to 
stay and listen. It is a true adage that "Listeners 
seldom hear any good of themselves." 

However smart and witty you may be considered, 
do not exercise your wit in rallying and bantering 
your friends. If you do so, their friendship will soon 
be worn out, or converted into positive enmity. A 
jest that carries a sting with it can never give a 
pleasant sensation to the object. The bite of a 
musquito is a very little thing, but it leaves pain and 
inflammation behind it, and the more it is rubbed the 
longer it rankles in the blood. No one likes to have 
their foibbs or mishaps turned into ridicule — before 

334 miss Leslie's behaviour book. 

other persons especially. And few can cordially join 
in a laugh that is raised against themselves. 

The slightest jest on the personal defects of those 
you are conversing with, is an enormity of rudeness 
and vulgarity. It is, in fact, a sneer at the Creator 
that made them so. No human creature is account- 
able for being too small, or too large ; for an ill-formed 
figure, or for ill-shaped limbs; for irregular features, 
or a bad complexion. 

Still worse, to rally any person (especially a woman) 
on her age, or to ask indirect questions with a view of 
discovering what her age really is. If we continue to 
live, we must continue to grow old. We must either 
advance in age, or we must die. Where then is the 
shame of surviving our youth? And when youth 
departs, beauty goes along with it. At least as much 
beauty as depends on complexion, hair, and teeth. In 
arriving at middle age, (or a little beyond it,) a lady 
must compound for the loss of either face or figure. 
About that period she generally becomes thinner, or 
fatter. If thin, her features shrink, and her skin 
shrivels and fades ; even though she retains a slender 
and perhaps a girlish form. If she grows fat, her 
skin may continue smooth, and her complexion fine, 
and her neck and arms may be rounder and hand- 
somer than in girlhood; but then symmetry of shape 
^\ ill cease — and she must reconcile herself to the 
change as best she can. But a woman with a good 
mind, a good heart, and a good temper, can never at any 
age grow ugly — for an intelligent and pleasant expres- 
sion is in itself beauty, and the best sort of beauty. 


Sad indeed is the condition of women in the decline 
of life when "No lights of age adorn them." When, 
having neglected in the spring and summer to lay up 
any stores for the winter that is sure to come, they 
find themselves left in the season of desolation with 
nothing to fall back upon — no pleasant recollections 
of the acquisition of knowledge or the performance of 
good deeds, and nothing to talk about but the idle 
gossip of the day — striving painfully to look younger 
than they really are; still haunting balls and parties, 
and enduring all the discomforts of crowded water- 
ing-places, long after -all pleasure in such scenes must 
have passed away. But then they must linger in 
public because they are miserable at home, having no 
resources within themselves, and few enduring friends 
to enliven them with their society. 

The woman that knows how to grow old gracefully, 
will adapt her dress to her figure and her age, and 
wear colours that suit her present complexion. If her 
neck and arms are thin, she will not expose them under 
any circumstances. If her hair is grey, she will not 
decorate it with flowers and flimsy ribbons. If her 
cheeks are hollow, she will not make her face look 
still longer and thinner by shadowing it with long 
ringlets; and setting her head-dress far back — but 
she will give it as much softness as she can, by a light 
cap-border tied under her chin. She will not squeeze 
herself out of all human shape by affecting a long 
tight corsage; and she will wear no dresses glaring 
with huge flowers, or loaded with gaudy trimmings. 
She will allude to her age as a thing of course ; she 


will speak without hesitation of former times, though 
the recollection proves her to be really old. She wifl 
he kind and indulgent to the young; and the young 
will respect and love her, and gladly assemble near 
her chair, and be amused and unconsciously instructed. 
As long as she lives and retains her faculties she will 
endeavour to improve, and to become still a wiser and 
a better woman ; never excusing herself by indolently 
and obstinately averring that "she is too old to learn," 
or that she cannot give up her old-fashioned habits. 
If she finds that those habits are unwarrantable, or 
that they are annoying to her friends, she ought to 
relinquish them. No one with a mind unimpaired, 
and a heart still fresh, is too old to learn. 

This book is addressed chiefly to the young ; but we 
shall be much gratified by finding that even old ladies 
have found in it some advantageous suggestions on 
joints that had hitherto escaped their notice. 


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